Physical Activity in Adults


  • According to the Active Lives Survey (17/18), around 30% of adults in Wakefield are inactive.
  • Around 58% of Wakefield adults achieve the recommended 150 minutes a week of physical activity, below the national average of 62%.
  • A recent adults lifestyle survey in Wakefield found that almost three quarters of people wanted to be more active.

The Population

Physical activity levels have been declining in the population. This is partly to do with a shift in the industries people are employed in. Children have become increasingly more sedentary and this pattern has followed in to adulthood. The adult population as a whole is 20% less active than it was during the 1960’s. Based on this rate of change, it is projected that by 2030 the adult population will be 35% less active than the 1960’s.

The Active Lives Survey carried out by Sport England gives estimates of the proportion of the population achieving the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity in a week. For men this is 59% and for women this is 57%, this equates to around 157,000 adults aged 16+ out of the 270,000 adults in Wakefield meeting the recommended levels of activity.

The Challenges

Wakefield (58%) has lower levels of physical activity in adults when compared to both the regional (61%) and the national (62%) averages, suggesting that more needs to be done in order to improve the health and well being of the population by getting them more active.

One of the results of poor physical activity levels is an increase in excess weight. Wakefield has very high levels of excess weight in the adult population, with 7 out of every 10 people carrying excess weight, and this figure has been increasing in recent years.

The Inequality

The amount of physical activity that an individual undertakes can be influenced by many factors, such as service provision, social background and the ability to access services. The Active Lives Survey suggests that males are more likely to be physically active than women and that inactivity increases as people get older. The survey also shows that there are inequalities between the different socio-economic groups, with adults who have routine occupations or are long term unemployed far more likely to be inactive than those from managerial or professional occupations.

Service Provision

Wakefield Council provides a range of physical activity programmes at it’s Sport and Leisure facilities across the District. You can find more information about them here: Active Wakefield

Community Assets


You can access the full Physical Activity in Adults infographic here: Physical Activity in Adults