COVID-19 & Physical Activity Resources

COVID-19 and its impact on physical activity

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns had huge countrywide impacts felt by everyone. This page brings the latest data and reports on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re looking for health and exercise tips when recovering from COVID-19, be sure to visit our ‘Recovering from COVID-19’ page here.

Whilst some used it as an opportunity to get more physically active in the time they were able to work from home, other demographics including children and those with disabilities often felt the more harsh impacts of the restrictions. This actually resulted in many doing less physical activity. You can view a summary of this in the latest Active Lives Survey on our Sport England Insight page.

The below insight and resources were designed to help us understand how the pandemic and social restrictions have impacted physical activity levels and health. Moreover, they aim to help us to consider how we can guide people back into physical activity as we emerge from the restrictions.

Beneath the insight, you’ll find useful resources for the sports sector, including information about funding and courses available. Click the button below to jump straight to this section.

Children and Young People: The impacts of COVID-19 on physical activity

The following reports explore the impacts of COVID-19 specifically on children and young people over the past year. They take into account their experiences in lockdown, alongside their disrupted school and worklife balances. These reports were provided by Women in Sport and Sport England.

Women and Girls: COVID-19 impacts

The Coronavirus lockdowns and self-isolation situation have disrupted people’s livse. Evidence has shown that women are especially impacted.

It has resulted in a re-setting of priorities and what is valued, as well as the increased realisation of the importance of social contact. Many of these changes will forge new meaning for the future.

People with disabilities and long-term health conditions

These reports outline the social impacts of the pandemic and restriction measures on disabled people and those considered ‘vulnerable’ and living with long-term health conditions. It also considers impact on their physical activity levels throughout the lockdown restrictions.

For more insight on physical activity and disability, you can also visit the Long Term Health Condition insight page.

Community groups and facilities

The following reports show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities and facilities, as well as the route to reopening. This can support local community groups and facilities to plan their future deliveries, whilst ensuring they’re in line with restrictions.

Support for the physical sector during COVID-19

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is presenting a huge challenge for the physical activity sector, but there is support available for organisations and individuals affected.

Government advice:

For the latest government advice for individuals and teams, click here. You can also read Sport England’s return to play guidance here.


Sport England has announced a support package of up to £195 million to help meet the needs of the physical activity sector. To see the latest Sport England funding support packages click here

Crowdfunder and Sport England have teamed up to make £1 million of match funding available to organisations in the sport and physical activity sector when you raise money through crowdfunding. Click here for details of eligibility and how to apply.

Recovering from illness with exercise
COVID-19 team sport

Business support:

The support available nationally is rapidly changing. The latest information can always be found here:

  • Statement on support available from The National Lottery Community Fund here.
  • Norwich BID is a business support organisation for the central Norwich area. Here is its COVID-19 support page.
  • Federation of Small Businesses information page for members and non-members.

Coaching courses and resources:

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Contact us:

If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, get in touch using the details below. We can also help you put the above insight to use if you need advice.

Rachel Cooke

Insight & Evaluation Officer

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Process and programme evaluation
  • Research and insight

[email protected]
01603 731565