Public Health England have published evidence-based guidance for reducing inequalities in physical activity. Within the report are specific recommendations for certain population groups including: Children and Young People, Older Adults, People with Long Term Health Conditions, People with Physical or Learning Disabilities, Women and Girls, Ethnic Minority groups, LGBTQ+ groups and physical activity for mental health.

Enablers, barriers and identifying opportunity

Some enablers to physical activity emerged from the evidence review which are transferable across population groups. These are factors that helped to persuade people from all groups to participate initially in physical activity and then to support sustained participation and include:

  • Physical activity participation gains should be associated with social belonging, friendship, fun and feeling safe.
  • Interventions which bring a sense of achievement and success can foster sustainability of behaviour.
  • Understanding communities, and their specific needs around physical activity - and being able to offer appropriate interventions and facilities that meet these.
  • Consideration for the wider contextual issues within the population group - including the social context of people’s lives, their communities and peers.
  • Successful interventions consist of practitioners which foster social and psychological support in addition to any physical activity.

For more specific recommendations for each population group, please use read the guidance developed by Public Health England. 

Published February 2021