Physical Activity

Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality, accounting for 6% of deaths globally. People who are physically active are less likely to suffer a stroke, heart disease, or cardiovascular disease and reduce their risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes (among others).

Guidance

The current age specific NHS guidelines on physical activity levels are:

Early Childhood (Under 5s)

  • Babies should be encouraged to be active from birth. Before your baby begins to crawl, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play, including tummy time. Once babies can move around, encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe, supervised and nurturing play environment.
  • Children who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). This should be spread throughout the day, indoors or outside.
  • Children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, except when they are asleep.

Children Aged 5-18

  • At least 60 minutes (1 hour) of physical activity every day, which should be a mix of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as fast walking, and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as running.
  • On three days a week, these activities should involve muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, and bone-strengthening activities.

Adults Aged 19-64

  • At least 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). OR
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). OR
  • An equivalent mix of moderate-and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week (for example 2 30 minute runs, plus 30 minutes of fast walking), and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Adults Aged 65 and over

  • At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). OR
  • 75 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). OR
  • An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week (for example two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking), and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Physically Active Adults

Data on physical activity is collected via the Active People Survey; a survey commissioned by Sport England. This is the largest national survey into physical activity levels and sports participation. Data are published at local authority level1. The figure shows the percentage of adults aged 16 and over who have participated in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more in the previous 28 days.

Generally, there has been little change over time in the percentage of adults who are physically active at these small geographies. In 2015, the proportion of physically active people is significantly greater in Mid Sussex (65.5%, 95% CIs: 61.4 – 69.6%) than England (57.0%, 95% CIs 56.8 – 57.3%), with 65.5% of respondents taking part in the recommended amount of physical activity in the month preceding the survey. Horsham local authority however, does not significantly differ from England or Mid Sussex, with 61.1% of adults reporting that they are physically active (95% CIs: 56.9 – 65.3%).

Physical Activity Horsham and Mid Sussex 2012-15
Source: Physical Activity Survey 2012-15

Physically Inactive Adults

Sport England also provide statistics on the prevalence of physical inactivity. This is defined as the percentage of adults (age 16 and over) who have participated in less than 30 minutes of at least moderate physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more in the previous 28 days.

The chart illustrates the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults in Horsham and Mid Sussex local authorities. In 2015, 21.1% of respondents to the Active People Survey were physically inactive in Mid Sussex. This is significantly lower than in England (28.7%) or the South East (25.1%). The proportion of physical inactive adults does not differ for Horsham (25.6%), when compared to national or regional figures.

Physically Inactive - HMSx - 2012-15
Source: Active People Survey

The sample size of respondents to the Active People Survey is presented in the table below.

Locality 2012 2013 2014 2015
Horsham 490 486 516 519
Mid Sussex 488 497 510 521
West Sussex 3,285 3,542 3,589 3,584
South East 31,550 34,223 34,153 34,512
England 151,912 166,546 166,982 169,821
Source: Active People Survey
  1. Horsham district is covered jointly by Coastal West Sussex CCG and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG) 

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