One in three Blackpool adults get less than 30 minutes exercise per WEEK
More than one third of Blackpool adults are considered ‘physically inactive’, a new study has warned.
A nation-wide investigation carried out by Spirit of 2012, a community trust created to boost Britain’s interest in sport following the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, revealed that Blackpool is one of 26 local authorities where significant numbers took part in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
A shocking 36.3 per cent of the adult population in the resort are physically inactive – around 42,000 people.
Across the UK, nearly half of adults – 45 per cent – usually struggle to be physically active every day, according to an opinion poll conducted as part of the research.
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People from lower socio-economic grades are more likely to be physically inactive. This was reflected in the resort, which was ranked the most deprived area out of 317 districts and unitary authorities in England in 2019. In total, 39 (41.5 per cent) of Blackpool wards were among the 10 per cent most deprived in the country, with eight of these being among the 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England.
Other groups more likely to be considered physically inactive include older people, disabled people, and some minority ethnic groups.
Ruth Hollis, chief executive of Spirit of 2012, said: “For a quarter of a century in this country, we haven’t even dented levels of inactivity. There are a number of reasons for that. However, there are many grassroots programmes that have successfully shown that many of the barriers to becoming, and staying, active can be removed.
“Levels of activity, such as walking and cycling surged during lockdown, but this is already on the wane.”
The report found that around a third of people across the UK walked, cycled or ran more than usual doing the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020, and that up to 5.2m (22 per cent) of the least active people maintained their walking habits after restrictions were lifted.
It also found that 63 per cent of UK dog owners usually manage to walk or cycle more than 30 minutes every day, compared with 43 per cent of people who do not own dogs.
Meanwhile, a poll of 2,326 UK adults found that 73 per cent of them were dissatisfied with their current fitness levels, as just under half of them managed to walk or cycle at least 30 minutes each day.
Paralympic gold medallist Susannah Rodgers MBE said: "The past two years have presented opportunities for change, such as highlighting the importance of being active for the benefit of our mental wellbeing, something I personally discovered during the pandemic.
"These years have also increasingly highlighted that there are still risks of some groups falling even further behind.
"We need a concerted effort to address these barriers by adopting the principles set out in this report so that everyone can discover activities which are accessible for them and suit their interests and needs."