Figures released by Sport England last month as part of its annual Active Lives survey show that Cannock Chase residents were both less `inactive` and more `active` in May 2018 – May 2019 than the year before.
The survey captures sport and physical activity levels among adults aged 16 and over. The results for Cannock Chase are based on 524 respondents.
In detail they reveal there was a significant decrease of 7 per cent in the number of respondents who did less than 30 minutes of physical activity in a week, with the figure falling from 33.6 per cent to 26.6 per cent, putting Cannock Chase just over the Staffordshire average of 26.4 per cent and slightly better than neighbouring East Staffordshire (27.3 per cent) and Tamworth (29 per cent). Stafford was 25.7 per cent. The England average was 24.8 per cent.
Cannock Chase’s decrease was the second largest annual decrease across the West Midlands, after Telford and Wrekin which recorded 11.2 per cent.
Meanwhile the proportion of active respondents in Cannock Chase – engaging in 150 minutes or more of physical activity per week – rose by 3.5 per cent to 58.6 per cent. Although this was slightly below the Staffordshire average of 60.0 per cent, the 60.3 per cent recorded for Stafford, 60.1 per cent for East Staffordshire and the 58.9 per cent for Tamworth, it does represent a move in the right direction.
Overall, Sport England noted that the highest ever levels of activity were recorded by this latest survey, with 1 million more people physically active in the country than when the survey began in 2015.
It takes the total number of active people – those doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – up to 28.6 million.
Councillor Chris Mitchell, Culture and Sport Portfolio Leader at Cannock Chase Council welcomed the new data. She said: “This is good news for the health and well being of our residents, particularly the decrease in inactivity levels. It is actually the first time we have seen positive increases from this annual survey since it began.
“As a Council we have invested a lot of money in leisure facilities across the District alongside our leisure partner, inspiring healthy lifestyles, so data like this is useful in determining that our combined investments are having an effect.
“Pleasingly, the survey went on to reveal that there was also a 7.9 per cent and significant increase in the proportion of respondents who volunteered to support sport and physical activity at least two times during the 12 month period surveyed.”
The Active Lives Adults Survey is commissioned by Sport England from Ipsos Mori and is published each October. It is based on responses collected for a 12 months period from May in one year to May the next year. The May 2018 – May 2019 survey involved data being gathered from 180,000 residents.
Councillor Chris Mitchell pictured with Terry Simms, General Manager of Chase Leisure Centre, during a visit to the centre in Cannock, last January.