Physical inactivity

Increased levels of physical activity can assist in tackling many of the important health challenges faced by the UK. It can help in the prevention and treatment of over 20 chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions (Department of Health, 2004). An evidence review concluded that physical activity could be the best buy in public health (Morris, 1994).  Helping inactive people to move to a moderate activity level will produce the greatest reduction in risk of ill health (Department of Health, 2009).

Physical activity in childhood has a range of benefits including healthy growth and development, maintenance of energy balance, mental well-being, improved academic performance and social interaction, and reduces osteoporosis risk in later life (Department of Health, 2004).  Active children are less likely to smoke, or to use alcohol/get drunk or take illegal drugs (Physical Activity Task Force, 2002).  Active children are more likely to become active adults (Telema, 2009).

Physical inactivity in England is estimated to cost £8.2 billion a year; this includes both the direct costs of treating major lifestyle-related diseases and the indirect costs of sickness absence (Department of Health, 2004). The NHS cost alone is £900 million based on 2006/07 costs (Scarborough et al, 2011).  In 2006/07, physical inactivity cost Stockton-on-Tees PCT over £2.1 million (Department of Health, 2009).
This topic is most closely associated with the following JSNA topics:


Last updated: 2015-12-15 11:42:40
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1. What are the key issues?

At every age, the majority of people don’t achieve recommended levels of physical activity. 

At a national level, 61% of men and 71% of women are not active enough to benefit their health.

Only 23.7%of adults in Stockton take part in a minimum level of moderate exercise.

Nationally, amongst children aged 2 – 15, based on the 2008 Health Survey for England, only 32% of boys and 24% of girls met the recommended activity levels.

The percentage of Stockton school pupils doing 3 hours of PE per week is just below the national average at 56%.

Stockton has higher than average levels of obesity amongst school age children with 9.8% of reception age and 20.7% of year six children reported as obese during the 2010/11 school year, against national average of 9.4% and 19.0%. However, the Stockton figures are better than the regional averages of 9.9% and 21.4%.

There remains a significant level of drop out from sport once young people leave secondary school and mandatory PE. This is an issue for both boys and girls although the problem is greater for girls. Sport England’s ‘Insights’ research identifies that lack of choice and a lack of purpose are key reasons for young people’s disengagement from PE and sport.

There is a significant variance in the quality of PE children are getting in primary education due to the lack of specialist PE teachers. Anecdotally there is evidence that some teachers in primary schools aren’t engaged in sport and have a low level of interest in teaching physical education. As such there must also be concern about the quality of experience many young people are getting during their formative years at primary school. All young people attend school and as such school is considered the best vehicle for maximising engagement by young people.

Stockton Council has long had concerns about the way PE and sport in the UK is taught to young people both within schools and sports clubs. The UK way of teaching and coaching based around a right and a wrong way of doing things denies individuality and focuses too much on process and not enough on outcome.

In may sports clubs there endures a culture of performance before personal development for young people. The motivation behind must be challenged.

There are significant health issues suffered by some of the more disadvantaged groups that could be partly tackled through increases in physical activity. E.g. there is a higher than average prevalence of obesity in people with learning disabilities and increased physical activity has been shown to be beneficial in mitigating the symptoms of some mental health issues.

There is a lack of validated self-report physical activity measures, particularly for children, making it difficult to evaluate and compare interventions.

The Active People survey sample sizes are too low at local level to allow analysis of sub-groups of the population, either by age, ethnicity, or socio economic profile.

Digital communication technology is having a profound affect on lifestyles, removing the need for many forms of physical interaction and travel, and providing a vast and growing array of sedentary entertainment. Or “Motorised transportation, digital entertainment and communications technologies and sedentary jobs are removing the physical activity out of our daily lives leading to an increase in sedentary lifestyles.”

Subsidised sport and leisure facilities and public transport are under increasing financial pressure, and for participants; cost, accessibility and time pressures are key factors.

Last updated: 15/12/15

2. What commissioning priotities are recommended?

Facilitate and create increased opportunities for people of all ages to take part in sport and active leisure
, wherever possible removing barriers of cost, transport, and perception. Programmes should focus on those who have shown some level of commitment to change their lifestyle and resources should be targeted there.

Based on Sport England research about activity trends in adults focus interventions around accessible lifestyle activities/ sports
such as walking, running and cycling.

Commission the implementation of interventions that support the development of fundamental movement skills in pre-school children
– ‘getting it right from the start’.

Work with educators to develop a model of PE/ sport delivery
that is educationally sound, values the problem solving capabilities of young people and is motivational and empowering.

Work with sports coaches to ensure that young people attending school and/ or community based programmes are provided with positive and empowering experiences

Undertake our own ‘Insights’ type research measuring the positive and negative impacts of PE and sport
within schools and the community.

Commission programmes that increase physical activity and lead to greater health gains by under-represented/ disadvantaged groups
, e.g. adults with learning disabilities, adults with mental health conditions.

Previous commissioning priorities:

Facilitate and create increased opportunities for people of all ages to take part in sport and active leisure, wherever possible removing barriers of cost, transport, and perception. Programmes should focus on those who are currently inactive and seek to achieve moderate intensity activity levels.

Commission programmes which link school-based and voluntary sector run sport and leisure
to provide performance pathways and to reduce the decline in participation which occurs through the 11-19 years range.

Promote greater understanding of the health benefits of physical activity
and use events as a focus to encourage people to get involved.

Increase the capacity of voluntary sector groups running sport and active leisure programmes
to sustain higher numbers of participants.

Maximise use of facilities
, including schools and green infrastructure, through community use agreements and clear information and guidance.

Improve detailed understanding of local population characteristics in relation to physical activity
to enable better targeted interventions.

Consider the use of health impact assessments for a wide range of Council and partner activities
such as transport and housing projects – all of which have the potential to influence the physical activity environment.


Last updated: 15/12/15

3. Who is at risk and why?

Children and young people

Physical activity among children aged 2–15 varies according to a range of factors including gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status (The Information Centre, 2008a; 2008b).

A higher percentage of boys than girls aged 2-15 years meet the Government’s recommendations for physical activity (32% and 24% respectively). Among girls the proportion meeting the recommendations generally decreases with age, ranging from 35% in girls aged 2 to 12% among those aged 14. There was a less consistent pattern with age among boys (The Information Centre, 2009).

By contrast, most children perceive themselves as being either very or fairly active compared with children their own age (The Information Centre, 2011). In addition, a substantial number of British adolescents believe themselves to be more physically active than they actually are (Corder et al, 2011).

Children from minority ethnic groups tend to be less active compared to their white peers (The Information Centre, 2006).

Familial factors
There is a strong positive link between a child’s activity levels and that of their parents, particularly among girls (The Information Centre, 2008b). Furthermore, in terms of childhood obesity, this may be confined to those whose same-sex parents are also obese (Perez-Pastor et al, 2009).

Parents are an important influence on their child’s physical activity behaviour, yet most incorrectly consider their children to be sufficiently active (Corder et al, 2010).

Socioeconomic Status
Physical activity levels in children are related to household income, with those in the lowest income bracket more likely to be active: 36% compared to 25% in boys, and 30% and 22% among girls. This is perhaps surprising, since children in lower income groups are often found to have less healthy lifestyles (National Obesity Observatory, 2011; The Information Centre, 2009b).

Children are becoming less physically fit as they age.  51% of boys and 34% of girls aged 4-10 years met the recommended levels in 2008, but only 7% of boys and no girls aged 11-15 years did so (National Obesity Observatory, 2011).

Children and young people with a disability take part in physical activity and sport less frequently and their experiences are less positive than their non-disabled peers (Sport Scotland, 2006).

Sedentary behaviour
On weekdays, 10% of children aged 2 to 9 years old were sedentary for six hours or more, but the proportion increased steeply in older children to over 60% of 15-year-olds. The proportion increased significantly across all age groups at weekends.

Household income was significantly associated with sedentary behaviour - for both boys and girls, as household income decreased, the average number of hours spent watching TV increased (The Information Centre, 2009b).

The main method of children aged 5-16 years getting to and from school is walking (41%), while 33% of this age group is being driven to school. Just 2% used a bike to travel to school as their main mode of transport (Department for Transport, 2011).


Evidence shows that certain population groups tend to have lower levels of physical activity including over 55-year-olds, some black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, disabled people, young women aged 14-24 years and lower socioeconomic groups (Sport England, 2011).

Gender and age
Based on the 2008 Health Survey for England, 39% of men and 29% of women met the Government’s recommendation for physical activity.  Women were significantly less physically fit than men, and fitness decreased significantly with age. The decline was steepest for men, although more males were physically fit in every age group (The Information Centre, 2009).

Physical activity levels tend to be lower in ethnic minority groups (except Black Caribbean/African and Irish), especially South Asians (The Information Centre, 2006). Only 11% of Bangladeshi and 14% of Pakistani women were reported to have achieved the recommended amounts of physical activity, compared with 25% in the general population (Department of Health, 2009).

Socioeconomic status
There is an association between household income and physical activity; more people are active in households with higher income.  The degree of association is stronger in women than men (The Information Centre, 2009).

People with a limiting long-standing illness and/or a disability are at particular risk from inactivity (Department of Health, 2009).

Physical activity has an important role to play in promoting mental health and well-being by preventing mental health problems and improving the quality of life of those experiencing mental health problems and illnesses. Physical activity can reduce the risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with evidence showing a 20-30% lower risk for depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. Furthermore, physical activity can enhance psychological well-being, by improving self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and by reducing levels of anxiety and fatigue (Department of Health, 2011).

Sedentary behaviour
The amount of time people spend in sedentary behaviours including domestically (for example use of remote controls, computers and other energy saving devices), as part of transport (motorised transport instead of walking/cycling) and for adults at the workplace is becoming increasingly a concern.  Evidence that suggests sedentary behaviour is independently associated with all-cause mortality, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and metabolic dysfunction in adults and children (Department of Health, 2011).

The latest UK physical activity guidelines emphasise that sedentary behaviour should be minimised.  Findings from the 2008 Health Survey for England (The Information Centre, 2009) suggests that:

  • 32% of men and 33% of women were sedentary for six or more hours on weekdays, which increased to 44% and 39% respectively on weekends
  • Average total sedentary time varied by body mass index level – men/women who were a healthy weight were less sedentary than obese men/women
  • Sedentary behaviours in adults are affeccted by age, gender, socioeconomic conditions, occupation, weight status and some characteristics of the physical environment
  • Only 41% of adults made walks of 20 minutes or more at least 3 times a week and only 14% of adults rode a bicycle at least once a week (Department for Transport, 2011).


Patterns of how people travel, including walking and cycling, are contained within the JSNA transport topic.


Last updated: 15/12/15

4. What is the level of need in the population?

Results for the School Sport Partnerships


Stockton-on-Tees School Sport Partnership

England average

Curriculum time allocated to sport and physical education per week

123 minutes

117 minutes

Percentage of pupils doing three hours of high quality PE/school sport per week

56 %


Percentage of pupils participating in community clubs linked to school

39 %


Percentage of pupils taking part in leadership and volunteering

24 %



The Active People Survey
The Active People Survey (APS) defines the following Key Performance Indicators (KPI):

KPI 1 Taking part on at least 3 days a week in moderate intensity sport and active recreation (at least 12 days in the last 4 weeks), for at least 30 minutes continuously in any one session. Participation includes recreational walking and cycling.
KPI 2 Volunteering to support sport for at least one hour a week.
KPI 3 Being a member of a club particularly so that you can participate in sport or recreational activity in the last 4 weeks.
KPI 4 Having received tuition from an instructor or coach to improve your performance in any sport or recreational activity in the last 12 months.
KPI 5 Having taken part in any organised competition in any sport or recreational activity in the last 12 months.
KPI 6 Percentage of adults who are fairly or very satisfied with sports provision in their local area.
Organised sport Percentage of adults who have done at least one of the following: received tuition in the last 12 months, taken part in organised competition in the last 12 months or been a member of a club to play sport.

The APS results for years: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5  (2005/06 to 2010/11) are shown by each national KPI in the following table.  The base refers to the number of respondents to the survey.

Stockton Active People Survey Kay Process Indicator trend

Please note that at the start of Active People Survey 5 the volunteering question (KPI 2) was changed to incorporate a wider definition of sport volunteering therefore, comparisons to previous data should not be made.

Indication of statistically significant changes
This table highlights whether changes from Active People Survey 2 to the latest rolling 12 month period are statistically significant for the above KPIs.  A statistically significant change is indicated by 'increase' or 'decrease' and this means that we are 95% certain that there has been a real change (increase or decrease).  Where there has been no statistically significant change this is indicated by ‘No change’.

Adult participation in sport and active recreation (formerly NI 8)














APS 2/3

APS 4/5

Change between APS 1 (Oct 05-Oct 06)
and APS 4/5 (Oct 09-Oct 11)


Oct 05 to
Oct 06

Oct 07 to
Oct 09

Oct 09 to
Oct 11


Percentage point change




NI 8








No change


















The percentage of the adult (age 16 and over) population in a local area who participate in sport and active recreation, at moderate intensity, for at least 30 minutes on at least 12 days out of the last 4 weeks (equivalent to 30 minutes on 3 or more days a week).

This measure of adult participation in sport and active recreation differs from KPI 1 (participation) as it includes estimates of adult participation in sport and active recreation of light intensity sports for those age 65 and over (bowls, yoga, pilates, croquet, archery).


Indication of statistically significant change


This table highlights the size and direction of changes from Active People Survey 1 to the latest period and whether changes are statistically significant. A statistically significant change is indicated by 'increase' or 'decrease' and this means that we are 95% certain that there has been a real change (increase or decrease). As the change of -1.0% is less than the 3.7% confidence level (Range) there has been no statistically significant change as indicated by ‘No change’.  The statistical range (margin of error) of results represents the minimum level of change that would need to be observed for a change in results to be statistically significant.



The Local Sport Profile Tool (Sport England, 2012) has been developed to help local authorities in England to generate a sporting profile for their area in the form of charts and tables, bringing together data on sporting participation and provision.  It shows that, in Stockton-on-Tees, men are more likely than women to do 3 lots of 30 minutes active recreation (29.1% and 20.5%, respectively).  For the top five participation sports in Stockton-on-Tees, the profile shows more adults (than the average for England) use gyms and go swimming, but fewer take part in athletics.
Stockton top 5 adult participation sports

Walking and cycling to school
In Stockton-on-Tees, walking or cycling to school is more common than in England as a whole and the difference is greatest at secondary school.  Slightly fewer children use active travel for getting to secondary school compared to primary school.

Stockton travel to primary school

Stockton method of travel to secondary school

Adult physical activity
The health profile for Stockton-on-Tees (Department of Health, 2011b) shows only 12.3% of adults achieved the recommended levels of physical activity (5 x 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week). Although quite similar to the England average of 11.5%, it means that over 135,000 adults in Stockton-on-Tees do not participate in levels of physical activity that benefit their health.

The Mosaic social segmentation tool enables analysis of Stockton’s population to identify sub-groups that are the least active.  Mosaic groups E, F, K and O make up over half of Stockton’s population, with the largest group being E.  Groups K and O have higher than average rates of physical inactivity with 61% of group O and 58% of group K participating in no physical activity in the last month.  Groups E and F both have rates of inactivity above 40%, despite being better than the England average.

Prevalence of inactivity, Mosaic population groups, Stockton-on-TeesStockton percentage of people taking no exercise by mosaic group

Sport England’s Active People Survey (APS) uses a different market segmentation tool which provides an insight into the sporting behaviours, barriers and motivations to physical activity for different subgroups of the population. This information can help to target resources to sub-groups of the population with the highest need to encourage them to engage in a more active lifestyle.

The pure sports measure for Stockton-on-Tees, which relates to adult participation in three sessions of 30 minutes of moderate intensity sport a week, demonstrates that there has been no significant change since 2007/08 (16.8% to 16.1% in 2010/11).  When compared to a statistical neighbour (Dudley) and England average, participation in moderate intensity sport in Stockton-on-Tees is slightly higher, particularly for the two most recent time periods.

Stockton adult participation in 3 time 30 minutes physical activity


Last updated: 15/12/15

5. What services are currently provided?

Sport and active leisure

  • Tees Active leisure centres, water sports and privately owned gyms
  • Funky Feet – Fundamental movement skills for young people 18 months to 4 years.
  • Council sporting events
  • Schools - including PE in the curriculum, “bikeability” and after school provision
  • Horticultural services
  • Countryside and green spaces
  • School holiday activities
  • Early years provision in children centres
  • Sports clubs
  • Women’s running and cycling groups
  • Sporting STEPs
  • Sporting activities in colleges and universities
  • Walking and leisure groups
  • Outdoor exercises for people aged over 50
  • Active travel, including guided rides and walks, advice on cycling routes, bike maintenance and cycle loan schemes. Links with schools, colleges, universities and workplaces in addition to supporting general community.
  • Cleveland Fire Brigade ‘Firefit’ programme, including football, rugby, cricket


  • Cycle and walk ways
  • Parks, countryside and nature reserves
  • Skate parks
  • Play equipment
  • Allotments

Services which incorporate provision to support people to increase levels of physical activity

  • Health trainer programme
  • Lite4life (adult weight management service)
  • NHS Tees Healthy Heart Check programme
  • Prevention of Type 2 diabetes initiative – Stockton-based and targeted at the South Asian population
  • Cleveland Fire Brigade Vulnerable Persons Pathway, signposting to other services

Let’s Get Moving website for promoting many of these services.


Last updated: 15/12/15

6. What is the projected level of need?

Adult participation in sport and active recreation
Adult participation in sport and active recreation (formerly National Indicator 8, NI-8) show no significant change between the Active People Survey (APS) 1 in October 2005 and October 2006 compared with APS 4/5 between October 2009 and October 2011.  Therefore it is difficult to extrapolate any change for the future.

Based on ONS projected population of 192,800 in 2011 the percentage of inactive people is 76.3% which is equivalent to 147,100 people.  The 2011 projected population is made up of 94,700 males and 98,000 females of whom 37,200 are children, 119,100 are working age and 36,500 are older people.  Assuming similar trends in adult participation in sport in 2033 and a projected population of 213,800 the percentage of inactive people will be 76.3% which is equivalent to 163,100 inactive people.

The 2033 projected population of 213,800 will be made of 106,400 males and 107,400 females of whom 39,300 will be children, 117,800 working age and 56,800 older people.


Being a member of a club to participate in sport or recreational activity
Results from KPI 3 ‘Being a member of a club particularly so that you can participate in sport or recreational activity’ show no significant change between the Active People Survey (APS) 1 in 2005/06 compared with APS 4/5 between 2009-11.  Assuming similar trends to 2033 and a projected population of 213,800 the percentage of people not participating in a club will be 77.2% which is equivalent to 165,100 people compared with 148,800 in 2011.
Stockton Active People Survey Key Process Indicator projections


Last updated: 15/12/15

7. What needs might be unmet?

Declining income into organised group sport and active leisure could undermine the viability of clubs and leagues, leading to a further decline in opportunities and participation levels.

Activities currently taking place in school facilities or privately owned facilities may be reduced by removal of the opportunity, particularly arising from security and health and safety concerns.

Participation in active leisure in subsidised or commercial facilities, including pools and gyms, may be restricted by economic pressures and increased costs.

Reductions in subsidy to public transport may also increase barriers to participation in some forms of active leisure.

Increasingly inactive and increasingly overweight young people may feel excluded from traditional competitive or recreational group activities such as running, league football and tennis. There may be a lack of services aimed at beginners and people with low self-efficacy.

Structure and content of the PE curriculum may lead to significant drop out, particularly by ‘non-sporty’ young people.

The increasing numbers of older people, as a proportion of the population, may require an increased number of activities designed to meet their tastes and lifestyles. These will represent an increased demand for subsidy at a time of declining resources.

Regular and established opportunities for under-represented groups to participate in sport with their peers, e.g. people with disabilities.

Insufficient allotment provision and long waiting lists may prevent people taking part in this form of physical activity.

Lack of awareness of the local environment and opportunities for active leisure may limit participation levels.

Lack of mechanisms for informal activities to take place with like-minded people.

Waiting times and potential capacity issues in the future for Active Health (exercise of prescription) exacerbated by resource pressures.


Last updated: 15/12/15

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

Evidence from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
NICE has completed a number of evidence reviews around the effectiveness of various physical activity or associated lifestyle interventions. These include:

Four commonly used methods to increase physical activity PH2 (NICE 2006)
Physical activity and the environment PH8 (NICE, 2008a)
Promoting physical activity in the workplace PH13 (NICE 2008b)
Promoting physical activity for children and young people PH17 (NICE, 2009a
Behaviour change at population, community and individual levels  PH6 (NICE, 2007)
Cardiovascular risk assessment and the modification of blood lipids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease CG67  (NICE, 2008c)
Prevention of cardiovascular disease at population level  PH25 (NICE, 2010)


Reviews and meta-analyses of physical activity interventions

Public Health England (2014). Everybody Active, Every Day: An evidence-based approach to physical activity.  Actions include participating in more physical activity reaps greater benefits to individuals and consequently communities and local services. There is a three year difference in the life expectancy between minimally active and inactive people.

Interventions by age or population sub-group
Interventions delivered through the school setting are the most consistent, promising strategy whilst the effect of community or family based programmes remains unclear.  (Salmon, Booth, Phongsavan et al, 2007; Kriemler, Meyer, Martin et al, 2011; van Sluijs, Kriemler, & McMinn, 2011)

There is sufficient evidence to support the implementation of interventions designed to increase physical activity amongst adults and their cost effectiveness. (Foster, Hillsdon& Thorogood, 2005; Müller-Riemenschneider, Reinhold, Nocon & Willich, 2008 and 2009; Jepson, Harris, Platt & Tannahill, 2010)

Physical activity interventions can be effective with obese individuals. (Gourlan, Trouilloud. & Sarrazin, 2011)


Interventions by type
Community-wide promotional activities and improving infrastructure has the potential to increase cycling by modest amounts. (Yang, Sahlqvist, McMinn et al, 2010; Vuori, 2011)

Interventions to promote walking among targeted participants are effective along with interventions using a pedometer which have been shown to be effective both with young people and adults although the long-term sustainability of such impacts is unproven. (Ogilvie, Foster,  Rothnie et al, 2007; Lubans, Morgan & Tudor-Locke, 2009; Bravata, Smith-Spangler, Sundaram et al, 2007)

Improving the marking and physical environment of school playgrounds can increase the physical activity of school children. (Verstraete, Cardon, De Clercq & Bourdeaudhuij, 2006; Ridgers, Fairclough & Stratton, 2010)

The effectiveness of exercise referral schemes (ERS) has yet to be proven; a recent review shows very limited evidence as to the effectiveness of ERS for increasing activity, fitness or health indicators or whether they are an efficient use of resources in sedentary people without a medical diagnosis. A further analysis found that the cost effectiveness of ERS improves when ERS are targeted at individuals with existing conditions while an evaluation of the ERS on Teesside made a number of recommendations to improve the local programmes.  (Pavey, Taylor, Fox et al, 2011; Anoyke, Trueman, Green et al, 2011; Carlebach, Athey & Shucksmith, 2011)

Mass media campaigns targeting physical activity can have the effect of increasing awareness but evidence beyond this (including changing behaviour) remains unclear.  (Leavy, Bull, Rosenberg & Bauman, 2011)

Interventions targeting reduction in sedentary behaviour in children can have a small but positive impact; however, further research is needed to ascertain whether interventions targeted at adults are effective. (Biddle, O’Connell. & Braithwaite, 2011; Owen, Sugiyama, Eakin, et al, 2011)

One promising method of intervention is active video games, which “are capable of generating energy expenditure in youth to attain physical activity guidelines” (Barnett, Cerin & Baranowski, 2011, p. 724) although evidence is required on how to sustain the effect in the medium- and long-term.

Last updated: 15/12/15

9. What do people say?

As part of the Active People Survey, respondents were asked about their satisfaction with sports provision – these results are summarised below.  In Stockton-on-Tees, about one quarter of adults surveyed were not satisfied with local sports provision in 2009/10.

Adult satisfaction with local sports provision as measured by the Active People Surveys, Tees local authorities, 2005/06 to 2009/10Tees adult satisfaction with local sports provision

NHS Stockton-on-Tees commissioned research to understand local young women’s views on physical activity, including mothers. The research revealed:

  • In general, participants could explain what physical activity entails, however a few viewed it only as sport.
  • Some participants suggested that physical activity was not a priority or does not play a role in their lives; others proposed participating for fun, to look nice and for health benefits.
  • Mothers reported taking part in less mild, moderate and strenuous forms of physical activity, than the other three groups.
  • The participants scored quite positively (all were above average values) on the beliefs and attitudes scale towards physical activity (enjoyment, perceived competence, self-efficacy, attitudes and social influence), with the exception of the Mums’ self-efficacy score.
  • Participants were mostly aware of physical activity opportunities that included the gym and lifestyle activities.
  • The main sources of physical activity information for participants were the gym, leisure centres and the internet.
  • The most frequently cited barriers to physical activity were time and money.

Evaluation of the Stockton-on-Tees “Let’s Get Moving” physical activity pathway pilot has shown interesting insights from the interim results (full report due May 2012), including:

  • Most popular activities amongst sample of service users are unstructured activities that people can incorporate into their daily lifestyle, such as walking, cycling and swimming. This is followed by gym-based activities and then structured activities.
  • Those service users who did not want to discuss increasing their physical activity levels or set goals for physical activity were mainly those who had mobility or health problems.


Last updated: 15/12/15

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

  • How best to engage with the hard-to-reach population.
  • Survey work on non-organised activities for young people.
  • Detailed sample analysis to understand the sub groups of local population and their specific behaviours and barriers.
  • There is a need to undertake pilot work to evaluate the impact of alternative approaches to teaching and coaching PE and sport to children and young people. How children are taught/ coached and not what they are taught/ coached is an area that seems to have avoided previous scrutiny.


Last updated: 15/12/15

Key Contact

Name: Reuben Kench

Job Title: Head of Culture and Leisure


phone: (01642) 527039


Local strategies and plans

Tees Valley Sport Sub-regional Facilities Strategy (2009)

NHS North East (2008) Better Health, Fairer Health

Neat Moves, Health and Transport Together Report (2011) – NEAT moves outputs and next steps for North East Active Travel.

NHS Tees (2010) Weight Management Services Strategic Review and Development Plan


National strategies and plans

Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2008). Before, During and After: Making the Most of the London 2012 Games

Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2008b). Playing to win: A new era for sport

Department for Transport (2010). Active Travel Strategy 

Department of Health (2004). At Least Five a Week – Evidence on the Impact of Physical Activity and its Relationship to Health – A Report from the Chief Medical Officer.

Department of Health (2004b). Choosing Health: Making Health Choices Easier

Department of Health (2005). Choosing activity: a physical activity action plan

Department of Health (2009). Be Active, Be Healthy: A Plan for Getting the Nation Moving

Department of Health (2009b). Let’s Get Moving - A new physical activity care pathway for the NHS: Commissioning guidance

Department of Health (2010). Healthy Lives, Healthy People

Department of Health (2011). Start Active, Stay Active: A Report on Physical Activity from the Four Home Countries’ Chief Medical Officers.

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2006). Behaviour Change at Population, Community and Individual Levels (PH6)

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2006). Four Commonly Used Methods to Increase Physical Activity: Brief Interventions in Primary Care, Exercise Referral Schemes, Pedometers and Community-Based Exercise Programmes for Walking and Cycling (PH2)

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2008a). Promoting and Creating Built or Natural Environments that Encourage and Support Physical Activity (PH8)

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2008b). Promoting Physical Activity in the Workplace (PH13)

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2008c). Cardiovascular Risk Assessment and the Modification of Blood Lipids for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CG67)

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2009a). Promoting Physical Activity for Children and Young People (PH17).

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2009b). Promoting Mental Wellbeing through Productive and Healthy Working Conditions: Guidance for Employers (PH22).

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2010). Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at Population Level (PH25)

National Obesity Observatory (2011) Determinants of Obesity: Child Physical Activity

Sport England (2008). Creating a sporting habit for life; Sport England strategy 2012-17


Other references

Anoyke, N.K., Trueman, P., Green, C., Pavey, T.G., Hillsdon, M. & Taylor, R.S. (2011). The cost effectiveness of exercise referral schemes. BMC Public Health, 11, 954

Barnett, A., Cerin, E. & Baronowski, T. (2011). Active video games for youth: A systematic review. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8, 724 – 737

Belanger, M., Townsend, N. & Foster, C. (2011). Age-related differences in physical activity profiles of English adults. Preventive Medicine, 52, 247 – 249

Biddle, S.J.H., O’Connell, S. & Braithwaite, R.E. (2011). Sedentary behaviour interventions in young people: A meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45, 937 – 942

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