External Research

Below are a range of sport and physical activity related tools and research papers that can be used to inform local plans and strategies. 

Sport England: Active Women

The Active Women Programme was designed to increase the amount of sports activity undertaken by women living in disadvantaged areas and women caring for children under the age of 16.

£10m of National Lottery Funding was used to support 20 projects across England for three years from 2011.

Active Women: Year One Summary
Active Women: Year One Evaluation
Active Women: Year Two Summary
Active Women: Year Two Evaluation
Active Women Hyndburn
Sport England: Active Lives

The Active Lives Surveys measure the activity levels of people across England. There are two surveys, Active Lives Adults and Active Lives Children and Young People that give a comprehensive view of how people are getting Active. 

Active Lives 18-19 Report
Active Lives: Lancashire Picture 2017-18
Active Lives: November 17/18 Report (April 2019)
Active Lives Overview
Sport England: Understanding Audiences

Sport England have carried out a wide range of research to understand factors that influence sporting behaviour. Research areas include:

  • Active Travel
  • Getting Active Outdoors
  • Sport and Age
  • Sport and Education 
  • Sport and Families
  • Sport and women
  • Sport and ethnicity
  • Sport and faith groups
  • Sport, sexual orientation and gender identity 
  • Sport and disability
  • Clubs and volunteering 
  • Economic conditions 
  • Events
  • Sport and communities
  • Participant profiles 
  • Sport satisfaction levels
  • Market segmentation 
  • The sport workforce. 

Visit the Sport England website to view the full range of research and insight on understanding audiences.

Sport England: Benefits of Sport

Sport England have carried out research into the benefits of sport to individuals, society and the economy. Research areas include:

  • Sport and the economy
  • Sport and health
  • Social value of sport 
  • Value of sport monitor 
  • Sport outcomes evidence review

Visit the Sport England website for more information and to view the research into the benefits of sport. 

UK Coaching Resources

UK Coaching have a range of guides, videos and podcasts available on their website covering a wide range of topics including data and analysis on coaching in the UK and evidence based guides and tips for coaches. Resources include:

  • Coaching in The UK
  • Social Value of Developing Coaches
  • Coaching in the Active People Survey

Visit the UK Coaching website to download the full reports. 

Parent Survey: Summary Report
Activity Alliance Resources

Activity Alliance have a wide range of resources available that can help you to engage more disabled people. Resources are from Activity Alliance themselves, and their members and cover topics such as:

  • Access for all - opening doors
  • Being Active Guide
  • Charter for Change
  • Inclusive Communications Guide
  • Effective Engagement
  • Gathering and using insight on disabled people
  • Physical activity for disabled adults

The Activity Alliance website also contains links to studies commissioned, published and released by them, or in partnership with them. 

Local Authority Health Profiles

The Local Authority Health Profiles provide an overview of health for each local authority in England. They pull together existing information in one place and contain data on a range of indicators for local populations, highlighting issues that can affect health in each locality.

The profiles are intended to help local government and health services make plans to improve the health of their local population and reduce health inequalities.

The profiles are updated every July and are available to download from the Public Health England website. 

Child Health Profiles

Public Health, assisted by Business Intelligence, within Lancashire County Council have created MSOA-cluster* child health profiles (CHPs). These complement the ones produced by Public Health England, which are at upper-tier authority and clinical commissioning group level only.

They are grouped into the following three areas: Central, East and North. Each name is linked to the respective profile document.




*MSOA = middle layer super output area. These are a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics.

Go Where Women Are

Go Where Women Are is about engaging women in sport and exercise on their terms and in their space whether physically or emotionally. The insight pack explores our current understanding of women, their relevant motivations, barriers and triggers to getting more active, and what this means for sports and exercise activities and initiatives.

It pulls out key learnings that can be applied to most women and draws on a rich range of data, research and practical projects conducted over many years, including I Will If You Will pilot in Bury, Bloomingirls festival in Manchester and Active Women projects.

Deliverers of sport and exercise should use the insight from this review and tailor if needed with local research to understand the barriers, motivations and triggers of their target audience.

Go Where Women Are Insight
Sport England: Local Insight Tool

With Sport England's Local Insight Tool, you will be able to view their data at various geographies. In addition, users can also map dozens of other open data sources, providing insight into a wide range of socio-economic and demographic data down to the neighbourhood scale. Reports summarising the socio-economics of various local areas can also be freely downloaded. 

The tool allows users to view and explore Sport England data for MSOA, Local Authority, Active Sport Partnership and Regional geographies, and combine this with a range of external open data.

Take a look at the Sport England Local Insight Tool. If you have any feedback or questions regarding the Sport England data included in Local Insight, please email activelives@sportengland.org

UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines

The UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines set out the evidence for how much and what kinds of physical activity we need to do to keep ourselves healthy. They have now been updated to include additional guidance on being active during pregnancy and after giving birth, and for disabled adults.

In children and young people, regular physical activity is associated with improved learning and attainment, better mental health and cardiovascular fitness, also contributing to healthy weight status. In adults, there is strong evidence to demonstrate the protective effect on physical activity on a range of many chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, mental health problems and social isolation. Regular physical activity can deliver cost savings for the health and care system and has wider social benefits for individuals and communities. These include increased productivity in the workplace, and active travel can reduce congestion and reduce air pollution.

UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines
Metro Blind Sport

Metro Blind Sport is a registered charity which delivers positive, life changing outcomes, through the creation of sporting and physical activity opportunities, to individuals with a visual impairment. 

Metro Blind Sport is mainly focused on improving accessibility of sport and physical activity to individuals living in and around London, with opportunities for individuals from other parts of the country to benefit from national competitions organised and supported by the charity.

The research forms part of a wider Impact Report, commissioned by Metro Blind Sport, to examine the influence the charity is having on participation and to establish what more could be done to engage those with sight loss or a visual impairment.

Blind and partially sighted people are twice as likely as the rest of the population to be inactive. MBS hopes that, through insight like this, the charity will be able to work with physical activity delivery partners and other community groups to get more visually impaired people active.

Metro Blind Sport: Impact Report 2019
Lotto Sport
European Union
Active Partnerships