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ComRes Survey 3 – March 2021

Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,011 Welsh adults (16+) online from the 12th March to 16th March 2021. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of Welsh adults 16+ by gender, age and the estimated households with children under 16.


• Overall, there appears to have been a decline in participation levels since October (prior to the firebreak) when local restrictions were in effect across the majority of local authorities in Wales. 

• This decline is not consistent across age ranges. Those aged between 16-34 tend to be doing more exercise than pre-pandemic, while those aged 35+ tend to report doing less. Those aged 55+ are the most likely to be doing less, with 28% reporting no activity in the previous week. 

• While participation levels amongst those from higher socioeconomic levels don’t appear to be different to pre-pandemic rates, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds now report doing less. 24% of those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds report no physical activity (of at least 30 minutes) on any day in the previous week. 

• While there has been a drop in the proportion of adults doing ‘some’ activity, there has been an increase in the proportion doing activity on ‘most’ days. This pattern was also witnessed in the first lockdown and might be explained by the fact that 64% of adults report having more time to exercise. 

• Participation in home-based activities done offline has increased (as witnessed in the first lockdown) but levels of home-based activities done online have not increased during the latest lockdown. 

• Increases in rates of walking and running/jogging continue to be observed and while other sports have witnessed a decline in participation during lockdown, there is a clear intention amongst adults to return to the activities that they did previously. In some cases, there is the potential for participation rates to grow beyond pre-pandemic levels as restrictions are eased. 

• Overall, 60% of adults in Wales intend to increase the amount of physical activity and exercise they do as we come out of lockdown. 

• While rates have declined since October, adults tend to report that their children are doing more activity outside of schools than they were before the pandemic. The exception is amongst those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds whose children now tend to be doing less. 

• 1 in 20 adults (5%) have volunteered in sport over the past twelve months. However, 28% of adults say that they are likely to volunteer over the next twelve months. 

• 65% of adults feel that it is more important to be physically active during the ongoing pandemic than at other times. This is an increase from the 63% reported during October 2020 and the 62% reported during the first national lockdown in May. 

• Overall, adults are more likely to feel confident about returning to outdoor facilities at this time but concerns about returning to indoor facilities are still relatively high with the majority of adults not feeling confident about returning to these settings.

• 45% of adults feel more confident about taking part in sport and physical activity as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

• 40% of adults currently worry about leaving the house to exercise or be active, while 63% are worried about exercising close to other people as restrictions begin to ease. Social Distancing (11%), restrictions on the amount of people in one place (4%) and cleanliness/hygiene (3%) are the measures that adults are most likely to say will help them continue or take up sport once restrictions allow. 

• While adults are more likely to say that guidance on taking part is clearer now (48%) than was the case in October (43%), there has been in a decline in the proportion of adults who feel that they have the opportunity to take part over the past year (May 2020 69%; October 2020 68%; March 2021 64%). That said, two thirds of adults feel that it will be easier for them to take part once restrictions are eased. 

• Adults are less likely (than previously) to report that they enjoy exercising on their own at this time.

For a copy of the full report email