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About us

Active Lincolnshire is committed to providing opportunities for everyone in Lincolnshire to be active every day. We work with partners to address inequalities and inactivity, responding to the needs of people and places.

What we do

As advocates for the positive power that physical activity has on everyone’s lives, we work in partnership to improve understanding, influence change, and tackle the challenge of inactivity.

Knowledge Hub

Our Knowledge Hub is the core of our website. Here you’ll find our guidance, advice, insight and support in all areas of physical activity and sport.

Get involved

Want to get involved with us? We depend on your collaboration to create and influence meaningful change. Find out how you can help Lincolnshire move more.

How much are we moving?

Let’s Move Lincolnshire
Strategy 2022 | Chapter 3

  • How much are we moving?

    How much are we moving?

    Activity levels and what’s affecting them, across Lincolnshire and beyond.

    Regular physical activity, combined with standard medical care, has a crucial role to play in the prevention and management of many long-term conditions, including mental health. But what exactly do we mean by physical activity? How much should we be doing? And how do our activity levels and challenges here in Lincolnshire compare to the rest of the UK?

  • How do we define physical activity?

    How do we define physical activity?

    Physical activity is defined as movement and force upon the body that raises your heartbeat and results in energy expenditure. The Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID) recognises four main categories of physical activity:

    • Active living: housework*, gardening*, walking and play
    • Active travel: walking, cycling and running
    • Recreation: exercise, dance and swimming
    • Sport: informal, organised, competitive, elite and professional sport

    *These activities aren’t recorded in Active Lives data.

  • How much should we all be doing?

    How much should we all be doing?

    The Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) physical activity guidelines recommend that:

    • Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, per week
      Children and teens aged 5 to 18 should do at least 60 minutes a day, averaged across the week
    • Under 5s should do 180 minutes a day, spread across the day
    • Disabled children and young people should do 20 minutes a day, plus strength and balance activity 3 times a week

  • A picture of activity across the UK

    A picture of activity across the UK

    The latest Sport England Active Lives data (2021) shows that, across England, 60.9% of adults take part in at least 150 minutes of activity per week. In general, greater levels of inactivity have been reported across the previous two years, which has been linked to the Covid pandemic.

    When it comes to children and young people, only 44.6% take part in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day (Sport England, 2021).

  • How inequality affects activity levels

    How inequality affects activity levels

    Inequality plays a significant part, with income, race, health, gender and age all impacting whether or not people regularly take part in sport, physical activity or exercise. Demographic analyses show that younger adults from higher socio-economic groups, who identify as non-disabled, from white or mixed backgrounds, are more likely to be active (Sport England, 2021).

    Meanwhile, one in four people in England live with long-term health conditions and, according to the national Active Lives survey, they’re twice as likely to be inactive, with the likelihood increasing even further for people with multiple conditions.

    Gender also makes a powerful difference to activity levels. Both nationally and across Lincolnshire, more males than females hit the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended levels of physical activity. Most noticeably, across the UK, there’s a sustained drop-out rate of girls, with one million ‘sporty girls’ reportedly losing interest in physical activity in their teenage years (Weaver, 2022). Women in Sport (2022) called for a reframing of sport to encourage teenage girls to stay involved and encourage their love for it.

  • Making a difference to mental health

    Making a difference to mental health

    Lower levels of physical activity can have a negative impact not just on physical health, but also on mental health and wellbeing. Mind (2022) states that one in four people experience mental health issues each year, with one in six experiencing them per week.

    There is approximately a 20% - 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. (Mental Health Foundation).

    In general, the number of people reporting mental health problems has increased, however specific groups are more likely to experience them, including LGBTQI+ people, Black or Black British people, young women aged 16-24, and people with overlapping issues relating to homelessness and substance misuse (Mind 2022).

  • The ongoing obesity challenge

    The ongoing obesity challenge

    People who are inactive are also more likely to be at risk of obesity, and the issues relating to it are impacting not only individual wellbeing, but wider health resources. Obesity rates in adults have been increasing since 1993, the Nuffield Trust found that 36% of UK adults were classed as overweight, with a further 28% classed as obese (Nuffield Trust, 2021).

    It’s an issue that also impacts children, with potential consequences for their long-term health. In the UK, a record rise in obesity levels among primary school children was recorded between 2019-20 and 2020-21 (NHS Digital, 2021).

    Mapping of childhood obesity levels in Lincolnshire reveals that children from the most deprived backgrounds were twice as likely to be obese by the time they leave primary school. (Public Health Lincolnshire).

  • Activity levels here in Lincolnshire

    Activity levels here in Lincolnshire

    Here in Lincolnshire, the 2021 Active Lives survey capture a picture of the activity levels of adults, children and young people across the county.

    They show that they percentage of adult residents failing to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended activity levels has remained consistent at approximately 42%, with 30% classed as inactive (doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week). This means Lincolnshire’s adult population is slightly less active than both the regional and national average.

    However, the figures aren’t uniform across the county. There’s a 10% difference in activity levels across our seven districts, with inactivity highest in Boston and South Holland, and lowest in Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey.

    The percentage of residents achieving the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity varies by 16% between Boston (lowest) and Lincoln (highest). This is, in part, due to Boston’s higher prevalence of deprivation, lower socio-economic groups, long-term health conditions and disabilities than Lincoln. All of these elements – along with environmental factors, policies, infrastructure and access – have a significant impact on activity levels.

  • Gender inequality through a local lens

    Gender inequality through a local lens

    While the headline national figures show fewer females than males hit the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended activity levels, there’s a mixed picture here in Lincolnshire.

    In East Lindsey, Lincoln and South Holland we’re seeing gender equality, while in West Lindsey there’s currently greater participation among females than males. (Active Lives). While these trends were beginning to emerge pre-Covid, they’re likely to have increased because the pandemic created environments and opportunities where women and girls felt more comfortable being active.

    Children and young people display a similar pattern across the districts, with Boston and East Lindsey having the highest levels of inactivity, compared to Lincoln and West Lindsey where we’re seeing the lowest. However the pandemic has affected the gender breakdown, with boys’ inactivity higher than girls’ in 2021 – the first time since the survey began in 2017-18.

  • Inactivity trends among Lincolnshire children

    Inactivity trends among Lincolnshire children

    Data isn’t available at district level, but across the county, we’re seeing that children’s inactivity reduces between school Years 3 and 4 (7 – 9 YO) , and Years 7 and 8 (11 – 13), but increases again for Years 9 to 11 (13 – 16 YO), reaching levels similar to the adult survey.

    Children’s inactivity decreases as family affluence increases – a trend also demonstrated by higher levels of inactivity among students receiving free school meals. Children and young people with disabilities and long-term health conditions follow the same trend as adults, being less active the more conditions they have.

How much are we moving?

Activity levels and what’s affecting them, across Lincolnshire and beyond.

Regular physical activity, combined with standard medical care, has a crucial role to play in the prevention and management of many long-term conditions, including mental health. But what exactly do we mean by physical activity? How much should we be doing? And how do our activity levels and challenges here in Lincolnshire compare to the rest of the UK?

How do we define physical activity?

Physical activity is defined as movement and force upon the body that raises your heartbeat and results in energy expenditure. The Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID) recognises four main categories of physical activity:

  • Active living: housework*, gardening*, walking and play
  • Active travel: walking, cycling and running
  • Recreation: exercise, dance and swimming
  • Sport: informal, organised, competitive, elite and professional sport

*These activities aren’t recorded in Active Lives data.

How much should we all be doing?

The Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) physical activity guidelines recommend that:

  • Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, per week
    Children and teens aged 5 to 18 should do at least 60 minutes a day, averaged across the week
  • Under 5s should do 180 minutes a day, spread across the day
  • Disabled children and young people should do 20 minutes a day, plus strength and balance activity 3 times a week

A picture of activity across the UK

The latest Sport England Active Lives data (2021) shows that, across England, 60.9% of adults take part in at least 150 minutes of activity per week. In general, greater levels of inactivity have been reported across the previous two years, which has been linked to the Covid pandemic.

When it comes to children and young people, only 44.6% take part in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day (Sport England, 2021).

How inequality affects activity levels

Inequality plays a significant part, with income, race, health, gender and age all impacting whether or not people regularly take part in sport, physical activity or exercise. Demographic analyses show that younger adults from higher socio-economic groups, who identify as non-disabled, from white or mixed backgrounds, are more likely to be active (Sport England, 2021).

Meanwhile, one in four people in England live with long-term health conditions and, according to the national Active Lives survey, they’re twice as likely to be inactive, with the likelihood increasing even further for people with multiple conditions.

Gender also makes a powerful difference to activity levels. Both nationally and across Lincolnshire, more males than females hit the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended levels of physical activity. Most noticeably, across the UK, there’s a sustained drop-out rate of girls, with one million ‘sporty girls’ reportedly losing interest in physical activity in their teenage years (Weaver, 2022). Women in Sport (2022) called for a reframing of sport to encourage teenage girls to stay involved and encourage their love for it.

Making a difference to mental health

Lower levels of physical activity can have a negative impact not just on physical health, but also on mental health and wellbeing. Mind (2022) states that one in four people experience mental health issues each year, with one in six experiencing them per week.

There is approximately a 20% - 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. (Mental Health Foundation).

In general, the number of people reporting mental health problems has increased, however specific groups are more likely to experience them, including LGBTQI+ people, Black or Black British people, young women aged 16-24, and people with overlapping issues relating to homelessness and substance misuse (Mind 2022).

The ongoing obesity challenge

People who are inactive are also more likely to be at risk of obesity, and the issues relating to it are impacting not only individual wellbeing, but wider health resources. Obesity rates in adults have been increasing since 1993, the Nuffield Trust found that 36% of UK adults were classed as overweight, with a further 28% classed as obese (Nuffield Trust, 2021).

It’s an issue that also impacts children, with potential consequences for their long-term health. In the UK, a record rise in obesity levels among primary school children was recorded between 2019-20 and 2020-21 (NHS Digital, 2021).

Mapping of childhood obesity levels in Lincolnshire reveals that children from the most deprived backgrounds were twice as likely to be obese by the time they leave primary school. (Public Health Lincolnshire).

Activity levels here in Lincolnshire

Here in Lincolnshire, the 2021 Active Lives survey capture a picture of the activity levels of adults, children and young people across the county.

They show that they percentage of adult residents failing to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended activity levels has remained consistent at approximately 42%, with 30% classed as inactive (doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week). This means Lincolnshire’s adult population is slightly less active than both the regional and national average.

However, the figures aren’t uniform across the county. There’s a 10% difference in activity levels across our seven districts, with inactivity highest in Boston and South Holland, and lowest in Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey.

The percentage of residents achieving the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity varies by 16% between Boston (lowest) and Lincoln (highest). This is, in part, due to Boston’s higher prevalence of deprivation, lower socio-economic groups, long-term health conditions and disabilities than Lincoln. All of these elements – along with environmental factors, policies, infrastructure and access – have a significant impact on activity levels.

Gender inequality through a local lens

While the headline national figures show fewer females than males hit the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended activity levels, there’s a mixed picture here in Lincolnshire.

In East Lindsey, Lincoln and South Holland we’re seeing gender equality, while in West Lindsey there’s currently greater participation among females than males. (Active Lives). While these trends were beginning to emerge pre-Covid, they’re likely to have increased because the pandemic created environments and opportunities where women and girls felt more comfortable being active.

Children and young people display a similar pattern across the districts, with Boston and East Lindsey having the highest levels of inactivity, compared to Lincoln and West Lindsey where we’re seeing the lowest. However the pandemic has affected the gender breakdown, with boys’ inactivity higher than girls’ in 2021 – the first time since the survey began in 2017-18.

Inactivity trends among Lincolnshire children

Data isn’t available at district level, but across the county, we’re seeing that children’s inactivity reduces between school Years 3 and 4 (7 – 9 YO) , and Years 7 and 8 (11 – 13), but increases again for Years 9 to 11 (13 – 16 YO), reaching levels similar to the adult survey.

Children’s inactivity decreases as family affluence increases – a trend also demonstrated by higher levels of inactivity among students receiving free school meals. Children and young people with disabilities and long-term health conditions follow the same trend as adults, being less active the more conditions they have.

Keep moving through our strategy

Continue reading through each of the chapters from our strategy.

Alternatively, return to the Strategy overview page.