This paper provides an overview of physical activity levels in England and the contribution that sport can make to raise levels of activity sufficient to achieve a health benefit. The evidence is primarily drawn from the 1998 Health Survey for England commissioned by the Department of Health and the focus is on the adult population aged 16 years and over. This survey provides the most up to date statistics on the levels of physical activity in the English population. Where appropriate the paper draws on other statistical sources for example on levels of obesity and overweight in the population and levels of coronary heart disease (both health conditions for which there is strong scientific evidence of reduced risk from an ‘active lifestyle’).
The focus of the paper is on: What are physical activity levels now?. This section examines current levels of physical activity in the population including an assessment of trends in activity levels and differences in activity with age, social class and gender;
How important is sport and walking as a contributor towards overall activity levels?. This section considers the ‘mix’ of activities that make up overall levels of physical activity in the population and within sport which activities make the greatest contribution to health;
What are we seeking to achieve?. In this section we examine the target set for physical activity levels within ‘Game Plan’ and discusses possible business plan targets for Sport England that focus on sports’ contribution to increasing levels of activity beneficial to health.
What is the challenge facing us if we are to achieve our targets to make significant health gains through increased participation in sport and walking?. This section includes an assessment of how many people are sedentary, how many doing some sporting activity but not enough and how many are doing enough but will need to continue at that level.
What are some of the potential benefits of meeting the challenge and the cost of not doing so?. This section summarises the health benefits derived from physical activity and the potential cost savings. It shows how levels of coronary heart disease and obesity in England compare with those found in other countries and looks at the future prospects for health in England should we not meet the challenge to raise activity levels.
Editor's comments - [ This is an academic review paper commissioned by Sport England as contextual analysis to inform the preparation of the Framework for sport in England and part of a series of desk studies called Driving up Participation: The Challenge for Sport. See our Ruff guide to physical activity and health ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Rowe, N. Beasley, N. Adams, R. (2004). Sport, physical activity and health: Future prospects for improving the health of the nation. London: Sport England
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