Figures show 340,000 more people are getting active

The number of people getting active has increased by over 340,000 in the last year.

The latest figures from the Active People Survey show 15.83 million people over the age of 16 are playing sport.

That's a return to the level seen just after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. And it equates to 1.75m more people getting active than when London won the right to host the Games.

While 81,900 more men are playing sport, the overall increase is largely because more women are getting active, accounting for over 75 per cent of the increase. The gender gap in sport has therefore reduced slightly, to 1.6m.

Keep fit and going to the gym remain hugely popular, with the number of people doing them every week breaking the seven million mark for the first time.

Exercise classes, like spinning and boxercise, continue to attract large numbers of people, especially women.

Some of the team sports are also doing well, including:

  • Cricket, up 43,500
  • Rugby Union, up 23,000
  • Netball, up 13,100

The running boom looks set to continue, with 138,100 more people running regularly in the last 12 months, and a remarkable one million more people running compared to 10 years ago.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price says: "These figures are encouraging, especially the significant increase in the number of women playing sport and being active every week.

"Running has continued to be a powerful driving force, with low-cost, welcoming and easy-to-access options like Parkrun making a big impact in the last decade."

There has been a small reduction in the number of disabled people playing sport, down 2,400 in the last year to 1.56m, although there has been an increase of 222,000 since 2006 when the Active People Survey began.

"The sports sector needs to rethink how it supports disabled people, and in particular we all need to recognise that most disabled people are over 50 and that 75 per cent have more than one impairment," says Jennie.

"We will work hard with the sector to address this as we implement our newstrategy."

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