A second nationwide survey in the UK by public sector/government project Moving Communities conveyed similar findings in 2023, with 40% of its 36,000 respondents saying that the cost of living had “somewhat” or “substantially” affected their access to physical activity.
Tighter budgets are also impacting the types of physical activities consumers partake in. A majority of Sport England’s survey respondents (71%) say they’ve changed their workout routines since the beginning of 2020, swapping out paid activities for free alternatives, such as running or cycling. A similar picture emerges among families, many of whom are opting for more affordable (or free) physical activities for their children in place of more costly sports clubs and active hobbies.
Despite all of this, according to Sport England’s study, overall physical activity levels across demographics have remained stable from pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, Moving Communities concluded that younger people continue to spend on their health, with 90% of 16- to 24-year-olds intending to do so in 2024.
These findings cement the importance of providing flexible and affordable options at different levels, as well as free or inexpensive resources to facilitate informed remote physical activity.