Inactivity affects 60–70% of the adult population - more people than obesity, alcohol misuse and smoking combined
Just 40% of men meet the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for physical activity (30 minutes of at least moderate intensity activity on five or more days of the week).
Over a quarter of boys do not meet the recommended physical activity level (at least one
hour of moderate or more intense activity a day).
Activity levels fall sharply with age. The decline starts quite sharply at 35 for men. Only 21% of men aged 65-74 and 9% of men aged 75 or over meet the recommendations.
Sport England research shows that 20% of men participate in sport (defined as at least 30 minutes of sport at moderate intensity at least three times a week, excluding recreational walking and infrequent recreational cycling).
Most men (72%) do not know the recommended level of physical activity.
Men in lower income groups are much less likely to be physically active: men in the lowest 20% in terms of household income are almost twice as likely to be inactive as men in the highest quintile.
Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese men are less likely than the general population to meet physical activity recommendations. Bangladeshi men have particularly low levels of physical activity with just 26% meeting the recommendations.
Sources of further statistical information include:
The Chief Medical Officer’s recently-published 2009 Annual Report contains a chapter on physical activity (entitled ‘Moving to nature’s cure’).