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Sport England research (summary)

“If physical activity was a drug it would be regarded as a miracle, so everyone must take it seriously.”

 Professor Dame Sally Davies, UK Chief Medical Officer

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These statistics come directly from Sport England’s 2017 release

“Only 30% of the UK population are active enough”

Sports participants are 14.1% more likely to report good health

“the annual value of health benefits…is estimated at £11.2 billion. 


This increase is valued at £1,127 per person per year, or £94 per person per month

Click here to download full Sport England document


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The benefits of regular physical activity, including sport, have been clearly set out across the life course. In particular regular activity can:

  • Prevent ill health and reduce the number of people dying prematurely
  • Enhance mental health, quality of life and self-reported wellbeing
  • Delay the need for care in older adults (age 65+)
  • Reduce health inequalities and improve wider factors influencing health and wellbeing.
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In the UK, the incidence of non-communicable disease which can be attributed to physical inactivity includes:

  • 10.5% of coronary heart disease cases
  • 18.7% of colon cancer cases
  • 17.9% of breast cancer cases
  • 13.0% of type 2 diabetes cases
  • 16.9% of premature all-cause mortality.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has reported on evidence* which showed that:

Sport participation is associated with higher wellbeing.
This increase is valued at £1,127 per person per year, or £94 per person per month

*Quantifying and Valuing the Wellbeing Impacts of Culture and Sport
*https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quantifying-the-social-impacts-of-sport-and-culture (both 2014),

“The economic argument is also strong.
In developed countries
, physical inactivity accounts for 1.5%-3.0% of total direct healthcare costs.