Last updated 10 October 2018 - see all updates
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- 1. Navigate to Main facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toPhysical inactivity by ethnicity section
- 3. Navigate toPhysical inactivity by ethnicity and gender section
- 4. Navigate toPhysical inactivity by ethnicity and age group section
- 5. Navigate toPhysical inactivity by ethnicity and socio-economic group section
- 6. Navigate to Methodology section
- 7. Navigate to Data sources section
- 8. Navigate to Download the data section
1. Main facts and figures
people from the Asian, Black, Chinese and Other ethnic groups were more likely to be physically inactive than White British people, White Other people and people from a Mixed ethnic background
overall, women were more likely to be physically inactive than men, with the biggest difference between women and men in the Asian group
across the 3 youngest age groups (people aged 16 to 44), White British people were less likely to be physically inactive than the average for these age groups
of people in managerial and professional occupations, the Asian group was most likely to be physically inactive
new data has been published for the year 2016/17 and data for 2015/16 has been revised so that the “all ethnic groups” category now includes those with unknown ethnicity while data for individual ethnic groups is not affected – this data isn’t currently reflected in the charts, tables and commentary on this page, but you can get a CSV file with the latest figures if you download the data
The ethnic categories used in this data
Sports England used the following broad ethnic categories when analysing data from the Active Lives Survey:
- White British
- White Other
2. Physical inactivity by ethnicity
|Ethnicity||%||Number of respondents|
Summary of Physical inactivity Physical inactivity by ethnicity Summary
3. Physical inactivity by ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||All %||All Number of respondents||Female %||Female Number of respondents||Male %||Male Number of respondents|
Summary of Physical inactivity Physical inactivity by ethnicity and gender Summary
4. Physical inactivity by ethnicity and age group
|Ethnicity||16-24 %||16-24 Number of respondents||25-34 %||25-34 Number of respondents||35-44 %||35-44 Number of respondents||45-54 %||45-54 Number of respondents||55-64 %||55-64 Number of respondents||65-74 %||65-74 Number of respondents||75+ %||75+ Number of respondents|
|Chinese||24||152||32||272||30||268||31||176||49||117||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||54||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||14|
|Mixed||15||408||18||483||16||418||18||339||33||195||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||84||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||39|
|Other||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||140||27||299||31||408||34||254||37||199||42||134||62||56|
Summary of Physical inactivity Physical inactivity by ethnicity and age group Summary
5. Physical inactivity by ethnicity and socio-economic group
|Managerial and professional occupations||Intermediate occupations and lower supervisory||Routine and manual occupations||Long-term unemployed||Full-time student or unclassified|
|Ethnicity||Managerial and professional occupations %||Managerial and professional occupations number of respondents||Intermediate occupations and lower supervisory %||Intermediate occupations and lower supervisory number of respondents||Routine and manual occupations %||Routine and manual occupations number of respondents||Long-term unemployed %||Long-term unemployed number of respondents||Full-time student or unclassified %||Full-time student or unclassified number of respondents|
|Chinese||21||578||40||188||47||77||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||24||28||172|
|Mixed||12||987||23||350||22||178||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||75||18||337|
Summary of Physical inactivity Physical inactivity by ethnicity and socio-economic group Summary
Active Lives is a 'push-to-web' survey which involves up to 4 postal mailouts designed to encourage participants to complete the survey online. A letter is sent to a household inviting up to 2 people per household to take part in the survey, either online or by requesting a paper version of the questionnaire.
The overall sample size is just under 200,000 people each year. The survey sample is randomly selected from the Royal Mail’s Postal Address File, which is a list of addresses in the UK that is maintained by the Royal Mail and has a very high coverage of private residential addresses.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.
For example, a survey which contains 25% women and 75% men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know has an even 50/50 split.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Data has been weighted to ONS population measures for geography and key demographics.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Results are not published when they're based on fewer than 30 respondents.
Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number but all gaps and differences have been calculated on unrounded data.
You can download more detailed estimates (to 1 decimal place) if you download the data.
Further technical information
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Twice a year
Purpose of data source
The Active Lives Survey measures the number of people aged 16 and over who take part in sport and physical activity.
This data informs the government’s strategy on physical activity, Sporting Future, which looks at 5 aspects of physical activity:
- physical well-being
- mental well-being
- individual development
- social and community development
- economic development
8. Download the data
This file contains data for the year 2015/16. This is the data used in the charts, tables and commentary shown on this page. This file contains the following: ethnicity, geography, gender, age, socio-economic status, value, denominator, numerator, upper CI, lower CI and number of respondents
This file contains data for 2015/16 (revised) and 2016/17. This is the latest data available, but does not reflect the figures shown in the charts, tables and commentary on this page. This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, gender, age, socio-economic status, value, denominator, numerator, upper CI, lower CI and number of respondents