Greater Manchester is getting moving

Date published: 15 April 2019

There are now 73.2% adults active for at least 30 minutes a week in Greater Manchester, which equates to 1.63 million adults, new research shows.

Released by Sport England on Thursday (11 April), the data shows this is an increase of 6,300 from the survey 12 months ago. Although more people are moving, we are still below the national average of 74.9%.

Across the ten areas of Greater Manchester there are varying activity levels with Trafford, Manchester and Stockport being above the national % for adults doing at least 30 minutes of activity per week.

The number of inactive adults has decreased to 26.8%, this equates to 596,800 people who do not exercise for at least 30 minutes a week. This is above the national level of inactivity which is 25.1%.

Physical inactivity causes 1 in 6 deaths and costs the NHS in Greater Manchester approximately £26.7 million per year.

The Greater Manchester Moving initiative backed by the Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, encourages residents to move more to reach a target of 75% of the population doing at least 30 minutes of activity a week.

Sara Tomkins, GreaterSport CEO said: “Today’s research is positive for Greater Manchester; we are moving in the right direction towards 75% of our population active and we are a step closer to our 2million moving.

"The national picture shows that walking for leisure and travel is up, which complements our ambition to making walking the norm in Greater Manchester with walking festivals and The Daily Mile.”

Some of the progress to date across the county includes:

  • Greater Manchester received £10 million from Sport England for The Local Pilot, which is working in communities across all ten localities specifically targeting those who are inactive.  
  • Consultation and plans shared for the cycling and walking network; a vision of a fully joined up cycling and walking network covering 1000 miles for Greater Manchester.
  • £2m investment from the Health and Social Care Partnership to become the country’s first walking city-region, by empowering a movement through the creation of a walking culture on a scale not seen anywhere else, where walking becomes a normal part of everyday life. Including the return of the Greater Manchester Walking festival which will run throughout May and includes over 400 guided walks for anyone to get involved.
  • Extended the ambition of becoming the world’s first Daily Mile city-region from just focusing on schools adopting the initiative to encouraging workplaces to do their Daily Mile too.
  • £1million Sport England investment to support over 55s to get moving through the Active Ageing programme.
  • Sport England has invested over £300,000 into the Moving Forces programme to support ex armed forces personnel to return to activity. This project is currently a pilot in Tameside and set to expand to two additional areas of Greater Manchester later this year.

One person who has got back into physical activity through the Moving Forces programme is ex Royal Engineer Paul Nutter.

He commented: “Since I left the forces, the weight piled on, I wasn’t doing much, it was just all work and fitting into the local area. I went up to about 17-and-a-half stone and obviously I wasn’t very mobile, I was just sleeping all the time. The main barrier to staying active was with work, being a truck driver its hard work getting the time off because of the hours we do.

“I’m enjoying getting back into running and I want to keep getting fitter! I enjoy coming down to parkrun, I enjoy the camaraderie, there’s a cracking bunch of people here and we have a good laugh.”

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