A Focus on Tackling Inequalities
We’re here to invest in sport and physical activity to make it a normal part of life for everyone in England, regardless of who you are. Because it’s not always a level playing field. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode. We’re determined to tackle this and unlock the advantages of sport and physical activity for everyone.
We want to encourage people to get active in ways that deliver the most for their physical wellbeing.
We know that being physically active can give a huge boost to our health.
It can reduce the risk of de eloping type 2 diabetes by 30-40% and can reduce the risk of a range of medical conditions, including cancer, dementia, strokes, heart disease and depression.
Sport and physical activity can help prevent ill health as well as provide therapeutic and management effects for those suffering - particularly for people affected by cancer.
It can also lead to improvements in strength, balance, movement and motor skills, and help in maintaining a healthy body weight. Other physical wellbeing outcomes backed by evidence include improved quality of sleep, increased energy levels, healthy early years development, reduced unhealthy behaviours like smoking, reduced mortality, effective pain management and improved quality of life in ageing.
Mental Well Being
We believe the impact sport and physical activity can have on mental wellbeing is every bit as important as the physical benefits. Physical activity can contribute to enjoyment and happiness, and more broadly to life satisfaction through increased social interaction. Volunteers and sports fans also have an increased sense of purpose and pride, while self-esteem and confidence are known to increase through participation or volunteering.
Sport and physical activity also have the potential to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
Social & Community Development
As well as developing individuals, sport and physical activity can help build stronger communities by bringing people together. Sport is widely seen as a way for people of different backgrounds to interact and integrate by taking part, volunteering and spectating. It can provide opportunities for migrants to adapt to living in England and can bridge divides between men and women, homeless people and those who are not homeless, and people with different employment backgrounds.
One in four people in England do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. But our research also shows that those who do the least activity stand to benefit the most, even if it’s just small changes like gentle jogging, swimming or playing rounders in the park. We know from the experience of other high-income countries, like Finland, the Netherlands and Germany, that this situation can be changed. So, we’re working towards helping everyone experience the benefits that taking part in sport and physical activity brings.