Physical Activity

Insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor for long-term conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

Physical activity has significant health benefits and contributes to prevent many long-term conditions. Globally, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough.

Physical Activity: An Introduction

The Government published Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation in 2015. It looks beyond simple participation to how sport changes lives and becomes a force for social good.  At its heart are five outcomes: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development.  Putting this policy into practice to achieve these outcomes means significant change for partners.  Sport England’s ‘Towards an Active Nation’ strategy sets out how it will deliver this task. The key changes are:

  • Focusing more money and resources on tackling inactivity because this is where the gains for the individual and for society are greatest
  • Investing more in children and young people from the age of five to build positive attitudes to sport and activity as the foundations of an active life
  • Helping those who are active now to carry on, but at lower cost to the public purse over time.
  • Putting customers at the heart, responding to how they organise their lives and helping the sector to be more welcoming and inclusive, especially of those groups currently under-represented in sport
  • Helping sport and physical activity to keep pace with the digital expectations of customers
  • Working with a wider range of partners, including the private sector, using partners’ expertise and investment to help others align their resources
  • Working within the sector to encourage innovation and share best practice particularly through applying the principles and practical learning of behaviour change 

Mapping Audit

In 2017, Living Sport and the County Council have undertaken a mapping audit and report to begin to identify the offer of physical activity and sport across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

In 2017, Living Sport and the County Council have undertaken a mapping audit and report to begin to identify the offer of physical activity and sport across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It aims to inform local partners of the supply and possible areas of need. Its focus shall support new strategy, both nationally and locally, to better understand and highlight methods of creating and maintaining behaviour change to increase levels of physical activity.

Aim of Mapping Audit

An important part of what we do is to build our work around the customer, by which we mean the person who does or might play sport or get active (i.e. a customer centric approach).  And that means understanding them much better than we do now, and putting as much information about what people do and enjoy out there so that everyone can benefit from it.  This audit aims to map what activities and opportunities there are currently available across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.  It will act as a platform for partners to build ongoing insight, identify gaps and evidence areas for investment with a focus on those who are inactive and/or beginners.  This mapping has initially been focussed on three, less active, target groups which are current priorities across our locality; older people (aged 50+), disabled people, and women and girls.


  • 96% of local activities have capacity to take on new people
  • 74% of venues or providers do NOT specifically use marketing materials that target those who are inactive
  • 64% of venues or providers are willing to develop their activities to include the target groups of older people, disabled people and/or women & girls
  • 47% of local sport or physical activity sessions are run solely by unpaid volunteers
  • Local clubs, venues and activities DO recommend their activities to beginners, although they are currently more welcoming to females than they are to either older people or disabled people
  • Activities for disabled people are focused more on sports than wider physical activity compared to those targeted at older people or females

Physical Activity Mapping Tool (2017) has been put together to allow partners to overlay other data with the results of this mapping audit.  These include:

  • Adult and child obesity
  • Ward-level deprivation
  • Number and percentage of residents aged 65+
  • Number and percentage of people with a long-term activity limiting illness
  • Percentage of adults who are active/inactive

We will continue to develop and improve the mapping tool, adding additional and more up-to-date data.

Please download the PDF and open in Adobe Reader to view the full content rather than viewing in the browser.  To add data to the map, click Layers, expand the drop down list and check the box to display the data of interest.