Research released today by Sport England shows that there are now 73.3% adults active for at least 30 minutes a week in Greater Manchester, which equates to 1,639,000 adults. This is an increase of 14,900 from the survey 12 months ago and a total increase of 68,100 since the survey began in 2015 – 16.
The trend is positive and more people are moving however; we are still below the national average of 75.2%.
When the number of children moving in Greater Manchester is added to this it totals;
Greater Manchester is working together, through Greater Manchester Moving, to support and enable residents to move more. The GM Moving Plan, backed by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, set the target to reach 75% of the population doing at least 30 minutes of activity a week by 2025.
The plan is supported by investment of £12 million, including £10 million from Sport England and £2 million from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s population health plan. This aims to make movement a normal part of everyday life in the city-region, addressing the significant health impacts and inequalities linked to inactivity.
Sara Tomkins, CEO at GreaterSport said;
“In Greater Manchester we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to move more every day, whether it be walking with the family, dancing with the kids or cycling to work. It can be hard to fit exercise in, which is why we promote building movement into your everyday routine from talking the stairs instead of the lift or walking that bit further with the dog, as every minute does count towards your recommended 30 minutes a day. These results are a step in the right direction and Greater Manchester will continue to work together to enable all of us to have the opportunity to be more active every day.
It is great to see 14,900 people are moving more and the benefits that brings including reducing stress and anxieties, improving our mood, helping us sleep better and our overall fitness, health and wellbeing.”
Jane Pilkington, Deputy Director of Population Health at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “Supporting and inspiring people to be active will bring significant benefits for health, wealth and wellbeing. That’s why we’re focused on making moving a normal part of everyday life in Greater Manchester. We are pleased by today’s figures showing further signs that our approach is having an effect. But we know there is more to do if we are to achieve our GM Moving ambitions for our residents, and our city-region as a whole."
The Greater Manchester Moving approach is to work on all the influences on how much we move during our average day. Moving has been designed out of modern life.
Leaders and influencers know that they need to help design moving back in, so an active life becomes the norm once more.
To do this will require changes to policies and our environment; such as changes to the way our streets and neighbourhoods are designed and built, an integrated public transport system, a network of walking and cycling infrastructure. These are things that Greater Manchester partners are delivering together.
Small changes can make a big difference. The Mayor and other senior leaders have recently given clear permission for their employees to wear trainers to work, if it enables them to move more during the working day. This #ActiveSoles movement doesn’t cost anything, but early signs are that this small change, can help people to build movement back into life.
Hayley Lever, GM Moving Strategic Manager said; “These sorts of ‘system changes’ are really important. Together, we can make lasting changes to create the conditions for all Greater Manchester residents to move more.
Today’s Active Lives data shows that we are on the right track, heading in the right direction. Together we will support and enable active, healthy, happy lives.”
Next week (w/c 25th Oct) GreaterSport are having a focus through their comms on GM workplace wellbeing and movement’s role within that and are encouraging partners to join them.
To help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 and the widening of the inequalities on active lives Sport England announced The Tackling Inequalities Fund in June 2020.