Sport England Insight

The latest Adult Active Lives Survey is here! Click here to take a look at the May 2020-2021 report.

Sport England and Tackling Inactivity

Sport England is responsible for promoting and investing in sport in the UK. They help the government meet its sporting objectives in this country and distribute Lottery funds to sport.

Their vision is to make England a more active and successful sporting nation.

Since 1994, Sport England has invested over £2 billion into sport in England to help people:

  • Start – to improve the health of the nation, particularly for disadvantaged groups.
  • Stay – through a thriving network of clubs, coaches and volunteers, and a commitment to equality.
  • Succeed in sport – through an infrastructure which is capable of developing world class performers.

Sport England have also provided various tools to help us understand who’s getting active across England, as well as the how, why and where. Amongst these tools are websites, and downloadable insight which you can find below.

You can drill down into specific geographic areas and explore trends to help inform your own work. Click here to find out more.


Latest adult Active Lives Survey report

Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey is a study of activity levels among adults aged 16+ in England. It gives us a better understanding of people’s behaviour. It is conducted to provide decision makers, government departments, local authorities and the sport and physical activity sector with a better understanding of people’s sport and physical activity habits.

The latest survey covers the period between May 2020-2021. This was a time in which restrictions heavily impacted organised sports and activity. Take a look at the full report below or click here to visit the Active Lives site for more information.

What does the latest report show?

Main takeaways:

  • Compared to 12 months earlier, there were 700,000 (-1.9%) fewer active adults, whilst there were over one million (+2%) more inactive adults between mid-May 2020-2021. 
  • We can draw a clear correlation between falls in activity levels during the pandemic and restrictions. Activity levels dropped dramatically, as sport and physical activity settings were closed and choice was restricted. 
  • Between March and May 2021, there was a partial recovery in activity levels. However, the numbers of people taking part in sport or physical activity remain 4.1% (1.6m) down compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. 

For a full breakdown of the latest report, click here. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the results specifically for areas in Norfolk, you can click here to view our locality insight page.

Small Area Estimates of Inactivity

The Active Lives Survey provides us with twice yearly figures for inactivity down to a local authority level (Breckland, Norwich, North Norfolk etc.) This data is modelled by Sport England to give estimates of inactivity in smaller areas. The latest version of this data is available here and can be viewed as a map or table as well as being exportable.


Previous adult Active Lives Surveys


Children Active Lives Survey Reports

Sport England have sought to explore and better understand not only the behaviours of children and young people, but also their attitudes towards sport and physical activity.

They also explore the extent to which being active links to health. This includes levels of mental wellbeing and individual development,, as well as social and community development.

For more information, including a breakdown of the following reports, visit our Children’s Active Lives Survey page.


Useful tools and documents

The following interactive tools will also help you to carry out further research. They can also help you to delve deeper into data provided by Sport England.

The Active People Interactive tool is a unique and valuable resources. It helps to unlock the potential of ALS data, allowing you to create your own tailored analysis.

The Local Sport Profile is another useful tool. It provides councils with a profile of up-to-date data for their local area. The tool also covers sports participation, facilities, health, economic and demographics, all in one place. 

Below this, you’ll also find a report covering the social and economic value of community sports.


Sport England Strategy: Uniting the Movement

In January 2021 Sport England launched their 10-year strategy, Uniting the Movement.

Today, there is overwhelming evidence to show that moving our bodies through community sport, fitness and any other physical activity improves our lives, individually and collectively.

Sport England’s goal is to champion this life-changing impact and ensure that everyone across the nation can benefit from it.

You can find more about the new strategy and how it will be achieved here. You can also watch a summary in the video below.