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sport and activity

UK lags behind European neighbours in activity levels, evidence reveals

October 5, 2023

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Leading bodies in sport and activity have combined forces to make the UK the most active nation in Europe after recent evidence shows that the UK ranks 11th out of 15 with comparable European countries.

Physical activity prescription is an important form of preventative medicine, saving the NHS £9.5 billion a year. Last month, sports and activities parliamentarians gathered to support the pledge to make the UK the most physically active nation in Europe.

In comparison, the UK is also ranked as the third highest spender on healthcare costs caused by inactivity and 9th in overall wellbeing. Based on the report released in July 2022 by the National Sector Partners Group, they have highlighted a number of potential areas for growth and intervention:

  • Deeper collaboration between Government departments, agencies and the sector
  • Development of a strong and consistent evidence base for the importance of physical activity
  • More and better-targeted investment
  • Bold and ambitious policy reform.


The pledge also recognises that encouraging physical activity would generate £85 billion in economic value in illness prevention, mental health support and consumer spending.

To find out more, see here.

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