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Activity Alliance survey reveals impact of cost of living and loneliness for disabled people

National charity Activity Alliance has warned that the rising cost of living and its wider impact are having a negative effect on disabled people’s activity and wellbeing. Today, the leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity releases the report from their latest Annual Disability and Activity Survey.

With almost 2,000 disabled and non-disabled adults aged 16+ taking part, the survey indicates that financial barriers are impacting disabled people’s activity levels.

A third of disabled people fear that being more active will impact their financial assistance

The findings report that memberships and concessions and having more disposable income would have the most impact for disabled and non-disabled people. Disabled people are more likely to want to spend more on physical activity than non-disabled people, but many reported a fear that being more active will result in their benefits or financial assistance being removed. For those on benefits, almost a third of disabled people fear that being more active will result in their benefits or financial assistance being removed (37%).

The responses also show that disabled people’s mental health and wellbeing is being disproportionately affected. Disabled people were nearly three times more likely than non-disabled people to feel lonely always or often (23% vs 8%). What is more, there are worrying signs of an increase in loneliness for disabled people over the last four years compared to decreasing levels of loneliness for non-disabled people. Since the start of the pandemic, disabled people were more likely to feel isolated (54% vs 30%). Yet nearly two-thirds of disabled people who felt lonely agreed that being active could help them feel less lonely (65%).

Key findings include:

As well as outlining what the sport and activity sector can do to improve these barriers, respondents were asked what government should focus on. Nearly two-thirds of disabled people (64%) said the government should focus on making activities affordable to help more people to be active.

Further actions

We are looking for people with disabilities in Norfolk who would like to get more active. Our Focus Group is designed to get the opinions of locals on what motivates and prevents them from getting active, so that we may use these experiences to identify any common barriers for disabled people in accessing physical activity. You can find out more about this and sign up below.

The full report outlines Activity Alliance’s commitments and requests from the sport and activity sector. They are split into seven main themes.

You can read the full report by clicking the button below.