The Annual Disability and Activity Survey 2022-2023 has shown that there are serious financial barriers to disabled people having access to physical activity. Activity Alliance published the report with a warning that the rise in the cost of living has meant that disabled people are missing out on the benefits of sport.
37% of respondents report that the cost of living has affected their ability to be active compared with 32% of non-disabled people. This comes as the fitness and leisure sector has reported a record-high market value of 11.5%, with membership prices reaching an average of £33.00 outside of London.
Mental health has also been disproportionately impacted, with disabled people feeling loneliness at three times the rate of non-disabled people. Since the beginning of the pandemic, disabled people were more likely to feel isolated, with 65% agreeing that being active would make them feel less lonely.
Adam Blaze, Chief Executive at Activity Alliance, added:
“We understand decision-makers and providers are also facing economic challenges, but we must ensure that disabled people are never excluded from access to sport and physical activity. Our annual survey provides clear evidence that we need to address concerns in a number of areas to improve opportunity and experiences for disabled people.
“Activity Alliance and our partners can help organisations to improve and embed the necessary inclusive practices that will make a significant and positive difference.”
To find out more about the findings, see here.