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Sport and Active Lifestyles Survey

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We monitor and track participation levels among adults as well as behaviour and trends in sport. 

This research helps us to shape policy and to make decisions so that we can enable sport in Wales to thrive.

Our Sport and Active Lifestyles survey forms part of the National Survey for Wales. This is a household survey involving face-to-face interviews with around 12,000 randomly-selected adults aged 16 and over. It covers a wide range of issues affecting people and their local area.

The latest results were gathered in 2019-20 which was the fourth consecutive year that data for sport and active lifestyles have been released as part of the wider survey. 

Results were gathered in the twelve-month period leading up to April 2020. As such, they represent the state of the nation immediately prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent social distancing and lockdown measures.

49% of all adults would like to do more sport or physical activity

Impact of the Sport and Active Lifestyles Survey

Some of the findings help to measure progress towards the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015. The Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.

The percentage participating in sporting activities three or more times a week is one of the 46 national indicators. 

The data provides us with the evidence we need about participation and latent demand to shape policy and make decisions.

Key findings from the 2019-20 Sport and Active Lifestyles Survey

• In 2019-20, just prior to Coronavirus, 32% of adults (16+) participated in a sporting activity three times a week or more (808,000 people). 7% participated approximately twice a week (186,000 people), 11% participated approximately once a week (268,000 people) and 50% participated less than once a week (1,245,000 people). Moreover, 41% of adults had not participated in any sporting activity (1,040,000 people) in the previous 4 weeks..

• The number of people participating in a sporting activity three times a week or more is a national indicator for the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015.  This had increased from 29% in 2016-17 to 32% (787,000 people) in 2017-18.  It remains unchanged at 32% for 2018-19. It remains at 32% again for 2019-20.

• In 2019-20, 59% of adults (ages 16+) reported that they had taken part in some sporting activity in the last four weeks (1,468,000 people). This rate remains unchanged when compared with the results from the previous years (2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19). Age, gender, disability and Welsh speaking characteristics are associated with varying participation rates.

• 49% of all adults would like to do more sport or physical activity (1,236,000 people). The equivalent measure was 50% in 2018-19, 55% in 2017-18, and 58% in 2016-17. This indicates that there has been a short-term decline in demand to do more sport. Nevertheless, and similar to previous years, the types of activity in most demand include indoor swimming (351,000 people), gym or fitness classes (210,000 people) and cycling (201,000 people)

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The Sport Wales podcast 'Inside Welsh Sport' includes episodes on high performance sport, the school sport survey and children's participation, and getting more females active.

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