Strategies for an active nation
In just one generation, physical activity levels in the UK have declined by 20 per cent – and that figure is predicted to decline a further 15 per cent by 2030. Social and economic trends over decades have ‘designed’ physical activity out of daily life: fewer people have manual jobs, technology encourages people to sit still for long periods, there’s an over-reliance on cars and other passive forms of transport, and towns and cities simply aren’t designed to encourage activity.
The physical activity industry has worked hard to encourage and support many people to be regularly active, but we still have a long way to go to engage the least active in society. We’re seeing pockets of best practice around the UK, with individual authorities and organisations having a positive and measurable impact on their local communities, but we still lack a joined-up, UK-wide approach.
Spearheaded by Sport England – whose 2016–2021 strategy, Towards an Active Nation, named tackling inactivity its top priority – the momentum will continue to gather behind this agenda. But if we’re really going to make an impact, activity providers across the country must unite behind this cause, focusing on the wider benefits of physical activity – and broadening the very definition of activity – in order to create relevant services that will engage the least active populations in our society.This stream will examine how the physical activity industry and its wider stakeholders can reach and influence the inactive, looking at how to create opportunities for people to be active in ways that fit with their everyday lives and interests. We’ll identify the challenges – and potential solutions – associated with specific population groups; we’ll report on different routes to change, from individual behaviour change strategies to London’s city-wide approach; and we’ll investigate options to collaborate with GPs and physiotherapists.
Who should attend?
Those delivering physical activity in the community; local authorities; leisure operators; gyms; hoteliers; schools; school activity providers; outdoor activity providers; employers; community groups; sports clubs; Local Enterprise Groups; NGOs and third sector organisations.