Active Lives Survey

The Sport England Active Lives Surveys measure the activity levels of people across England.

There are two surveys: Active Lives Adult, which is published twice a year, and the world-leading Active Lives Children and Young People, which is published annually.

Both give a unique and comprehensive view of how people are getting active.


The Active Lives Adult Survey breaks down the activity levels across the country, down to Unitary Authority level, and also provides data on the types of activity people take part in. The survey provides information on Volunteering levels, and information on how sport and physical activity also impacts on mental wellbeing and loneliness.

Active Lives Adults May 2019 - 20 - National Headlines
  • Activity levels in England were on course to reach record highs before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic hit, according to our latest Active Lives Adult Survey.
  • The survey showed that the gains made in the first 10 months of the year were cancelled out by drops in activity levels during the last two months of the period. Despite an increase in cycling for leisure, running outside and exercising at home as people adapted their activity habits during the pandemic. Overall, activity levels in England remained stable across the 12 months.
  • The reports show that more than 3 million people were less active between mid-March and mid-May compared to the same period a year before, and this demonstrates the extent to which people’s lives were disrupted.
  • Disabled people, people aged 70 and over, people with long-term health conditions and people from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups were disproportionately impacted.

During Lockdown

  • Walking was the most popular overall activity in the early weeks from mid-March, with more than 21 million adults walking at moderate intensity, while outdoor running was also popular.
  • The report also shows that the number of people cycling for leisure or sport increased from 6.1m to 7.2m (+2.5%) from mid-March to mid-May compared to the same period 12 months prior. As cycling for travel was down by 773,000 (-1.7%), the number of people cycling in total was up by 715,000 (+1.5%) overall.
  • Fitness classes also moved online while people got active at home in other ways, in the garden with their families or through activities like dance. Overall, over the two-month period, there was an increase in home exercise of 2.1m and this was largely driven by women.

West of England Headlines May 19/20

  • Wesport have seen an increase in the number of active people in the last 12 months from 67.8% to 68.5%, Approx 9,200 people. There has also been a slight increase in those who are Inactive, from 20.3% to 20.7%. But overall there is no significant change.
  • Bristol and North Somerset have had increases to the number who are active, approx. 3,400 and 6,000 people respectively.
  • North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have both seen a decrease in the number of those who are Inactive. Dropping approx. 4,300 and 1,400 respectively.
  • Although England have seen a decrease in volunteering, Wesport has seen an increase, from 14.2% to 14.7%, approx. 5,500 more people volunteering at least twice in the last 12 months.

A table for the latest data can be found here


We have created some useful infographics which collates the data relating to the West of England. These are available to download on the right hand side of the page.