Updated: Saturday, 8th August 2020 @ 9:26am

Couch potato capital: Manchester is laziest city in UK with more inactive adults than anywhere else

Couch potato capital: Manchester is laziest city in UK with more inactive adults than anywhere else

By Daniel Windham

Manchester is officially the couch potato capital of the country with more inactive adults in the city than in any other local authority in the UK, according to findings from The Active People Survey.

The survey, commissioned by Sports England, revealed that 40.2% of adults in Manchester spend less than 30 minutes of at least moderate physical intensity activity per week.

The percentage of physically inactive adults in Manchester was significantly higher than the 28.5% average in England with Greater Manchester also faring poorly in the survey.

Greater Manchester had the highest percentage of inactive adults, and the lowest percentage of adults engaging in more than 150 weekly minutes of exercise, in the North West.

Councillor Paul Andrews, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing said:
"We are aware that physical inactivity presents a real challenge to the city in terms of its impact on both physical and mental health which is why getting people active is one of our key public health objectives.”

The data was collected between January 2012 to January 2013 and, in that period, 151,912 adults over the age of 16 were surveyed.

According to Public Health England, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality accounting for 6% of deaths globally.

People who have a physically active lifestyle have a 20-35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke compared to those who have a sedentary lifestyle. 

Oxfordshire had the lowest percentage of inactive adults in the country with only 22.2% while Greater Manchester had a staggering 33.2%, beaten only by the West Midlands.

West Midlands was also the only county in the country that possessed a smaller percentage of adults engaging in constant physical activity than Greater Manchester.

Only 51.5% of people in Greater Manchester engaged in more than 150 minutes of weekly physical activity a week compared with the national average of 56%.

The survey measures participation in sport and active recreation, other sport-related issues and overall satisfaction with levels of sporting provision in the local community.

Manchester City Council’s ‘Active Lifestyles’ aims to help the community become more active as they have more than 200 weekly sessions available.

The scheme focuses on people of all ages, improving their lifestyles by offering classess focussing on regular education and weight reduction.

Councillor Andrews said: “We will continue to provide targeted support to high risk groups and our Active Lifestyle service provides people, who aren't interested in gyms or traditional sports, with an opportunity to stay active.

“Our Health Trainer service also works with individuals to support them in getting involved in physical activity of their choice."

One of the classes on offer at Active Lifestyles is ‘Weight No More’ which gives weight loss advice and guidance by intense calorie burning exercises.

Naomi, a member of Weight No More said, “I’ve been coming for quite a while now and the classes have helped me lose weight.”

The scheme also provides specialist recovery helping patients recover through GP references; helping them to get back to an active lifestyle.

Image courtesy of @alviseni, with thanks

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