Covid-19 restrictions encourage Black Country residents to be more active.
A new insight report launched by Active Black Country demonstrates how the physical activity habits of Black Country residents have been impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following a month-long campaign to engage with residents and groups across the Black Country, evidence shows that lockdown has encouraged previously inactive people to start moving more.
The measures imposed by HM Government to promote social distancing have had an unprecedented impact on the lives of Black Country residents. Restrictions on movement for non-key workers meant that forms of exercise previously considered normal by many, such as going to a leisure centre, gym or group exercise class became impossible and people had to find new means of staying fit and healthy, including online exercise classes on YouTube, group sessions via Zoom and outdoor exercise in the local vicinity.
Some of the key findings from the research include:
• 53.5% of respondents who had previously self-described as Inactive actually increased their levels to Fairly Active during the lockdown. Additionally, a further 23.3% went the extra mile and were Active.
• One factor that positively impacted on activity levels during lockdown was the reduced number of people in the streets during the early stages, with 60.9% of respondents stating this encouraged them to be more active.
• Of all the new habits that people picked up during lockdown, 23.6% of respondents indicated that they’d like to continue walking in one form or another
Michael Salmon, Head of Insight, Health and Wellbeing for Active Black Country said: “We have witnessed new audiences benefitting from an active lifestyle; when the Prime Minister announced the new measures, they included the caveat that people could leave their residence once-a-day for exercise, prompting some residents to become more active than they’d ever been before. It’s important that we continue to engage with local residents as we transition out of this phase and provide all the support we can to help nurture these new habits.”