Study: 40% of people in Ipswich do less than 30 minutes of exercise a week
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Nearly 40% of people in Ipswich do less than half an hour of exercise per week, new figures reveal.
Sports England's Active Lives survey found fewer people are engaging in physical activity in Suffolk compared to 12 months ago with Ipswich experiencing a 10% rise in inactivity, far worse than other areas.
The sporting body’s Active Lives Survey revealed the percentage of active adult people – defined as undertaking 150 minutes of physical activity a week had fallen by 3%.
Other districts with a reduction in activity levels include Mid Suffolk, East Suffolk and West Suffolk.
Only Babergh district has seen an increase in activity rates, with 4% more active people.
The picture was slightly rosier among the fairly active, defined as between 30 and 149 minutes per week, with a 0.8% increase across the county.
In total, just under 60% of Suffolk adults were meeting the recommended 150 minutes per week guideline, below the England average of 61.4%.
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However, experts believed the statistics were a reflection of lockdowns when leisure centres were closed and the colder winter months which have also had an impact.
Gareth Davies, director at Active Suffolk, said: “While the national reduction in physical activity levels is disappointing, it was not unexpected as we continue to see the impact of the pandemic.
“It was therefore heartening to see that areas of Suffolk have shown a significant increase in physical activity levels and I urge all our communities to follow this example.
“With all Covid restrictions now removed and the improved weather, I encourage people to take advantage of our beautiful green spaces and start to increase their own physical activity levels towards the recommended 150 minutes per week.”
Cllr Andrew Reid, the county council’s cabinet member for public health and public protection, added that there had been a "marked slowdown" in the decline since Sport England last conducted the survey in October.
He said keeping fit not only provided physical, mental and emotional benefits but also helped health and social care, the education system, the productivity of the workforce and the environment.
He highlighted a range of council initiatives and added: “We are confident that activity levels in the county are beginning to increase following the lifting of all Covid restrictions earlier this year and expect this to be reflected in data for this period.”