Active Lincolnshire is committed to making sure everyone understands why movement matters. Because being active isn’t just good for our physical health – it has a range of far-reaching benefits that empower everyone to lead healthier, more rewarding lives.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do for their health. Not only does daily movement help with weight management, but it also reduces the risk of a number of serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancers. It also strengthens bones and muscles, which can reduce the risk of falling and hip fractures in older people. By strengthening the body and mitigating the risk of serious illness, people living an active lifestyle have a 33% lower risk of mortality.
Physical activity can have a significantly positive impact on mental wellbeing. As well as releasing endorphins that help improve mood, movement has been shown to reduce the risk of certain mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. It can also help alleviate the symptoms of these illnesses, and is often a recommended element of treatment. More broadly, physical activity can lead to greater life satisfaction through increased self-esteem and social interaction.
As well as improving physical and mental wellbeing, daily movement can have a positive impact on individual development. Being active has a range of direct cognitive benefits – such as improved focus, memory and confidence – which can help improve education behaviour and attainment. It also helps young people develop a sense of integrity, responsibility and leadership, which can reduce anti-social behaviour and encourage volunteering.
In adults, physical activity has been shown to improve employment opportunities, as well as supporting those not in employment, education or training.
Social and community development
Physical activity brings communities together, providing opportunities for people from different backgrounds to interact and integrate – whether that’s by taking part, volunteering or spectating. It helps bridge the divides between different genders, ethnicities, sexualities, ages, abilities and employment statuses.
Every year, sport and physical activity contribute £39 billion to the UK’s economy. Not only does it reduce the strain on health and wellbeing services, but regular activity also promotes a healthy workforce, reducing the cost to businesses from issues like absenteeism and long-term health conditions.
Recommended daily exercise for an adult
Recommended daily exercise for a child (aged 5 – 18)
Recommended daily exercise for a toddler
How do we measure movement?
Sport England runs two Active Lives surveys, designed to measure the activity levels of adults and children across England. As well as illustrating the number of people meeting the UK’s Chief Medical Officer guidelines for physical activity, the surveys highlight the impact physical activity has on health and wellbeing.
As an Active Partnership, we coordinate the Active Lives Children and Young People survey for Lincolnshire, which helps us understand how young people across the county are engaging with physical activity.