Research released today by Sport England shows that there are now 73.3% adults active for at least 30 minutes a week in Greater Manchester, which equates to 1,639,000 adults. This is an increase of 14,900 from the survey 12 months ago and a total increase of 68,100 since the survey began in 2015-16. The trend is positive and more people are moving however; we are still below the national average of 75.2%.
Greater Manchester is working together, through Greater Manchester Moving, to support and enable residents to move more. The GM Moving Plan, backed by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, set the target to reach 75% of the population doing at least 30 minutes of activity a week by 2025.
The plan is supported by investment of £12 million, including £10 million from Sport England and £2 million from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s population health plan. This aims to make movement a normal part of everyday life in the city-region, addressing the significant health impacts and inequalities linked to inactivity.
One person who has got back into physical activity through climbing is Christine Hawksworth. Christine suffered a nervous breakdown a couple of years ago after she lost both parents and began to shut herself off. She started to stay in all day and ignore people’s calls and she admits she wasn’t very active.
Last year she joined Moving Forces, a project specifically targeting veterans to get moving in their local community. She now goes climbing, does tai chi and has even become a walk leader encouraging others to walk more.
Christine aged 56, decided she needed to make a change and get fitter and her one piece of advice to anyone is ‘irrespective of age you can increase your fitness levels – I attend tai chi with a 95 year old.”
When asked about what she enjoys she talks about the social benefits but also the satisfaction of improving. “When I revisit a climbing wall I’ve previously been unsuccessful at and I succeed it shows I’m learning, I’m succeeding and I get a real buzz!”
Sara Tomkins, CEO at GreaterSport said; “In Greater Manchester we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to move more every day, whether it be walking with the family, dancing with the kids or cycling to work. It can be hard to fit exercise in, which is why we promote building movement into your everyday routine from talking the stairs instead of the lift or walking that bit further with the dog, as every minute does count towards your recommended 30 minutes a day. These results are a step in the right direction and Greater Manchester will continue to work together to enable all of us to have the opportunity to be more active every day.
It is great to see 14,900 people are moving more and the benefits that brings including reducing stress and anxieties, improving our mood, helping us sleep better and our overall fitness, health and wellbeing.”
Jane Pilkington, deputy director of population health at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “Supporting and inspiring people to be active will bring significant benefits for health, wealth and wellbeing. That’s why we’re focused on making moving a normal part of everyday life in Greater Manchester. We are pleased by today’s figures showing further signs that our approach is having an effect. But we know there is more to do if we are to achieve our GM Moving ambitions for our residents, and our city-region as a whole”.
To make finding an activity a little easier Greater Manchester organisations are committed to sharing their session details to feed into an activity search- like the TripAdvisor equivalent for activity opportunities where we all live. Anyone can go on and find a session near them in Greater Manchester at https://www.thatcounts.co.uk/find-an-activity.