Refreshed pledge to lower levels of inactivity in Greater Manchester

Joined up approach to try and continue the trend of increased activity in the region

We’ve renewed our unique agreement with Greater Manchester Moving aimed at getting 75% of the region’s residents active by 2025.

Our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth was in Manchester on Friday to refresh the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between us, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

He met with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and leaders from the NHS, local authorities and voluntary sector to discuss the continued work trying to make movement a normal part of everyday life in the region.

73.3% of people in Greater Manchester do at least 30 minutes of activity a week

“Being active has so many positive benefits, supporting people to live happier, healthier lives,” said Tim. “Our recent Active Lives Adult Survey has shown great gains in the number of people getting active across the country.

“But inequalities remain and we must continue working to make sure the benefits of an active lifestyle are available to everyone.

“That’s why the partnerships with key organisations across Greater Manchester are so important – they will allow us to reach even more people with opportunities to get active.”

Since the MoU was first signed in 2016 the region has already seen an increase in walking and cycling investment, as well as agreeing that organisations work together to bring down the barriers many experience when trying to get active.

This new approach to the issue is part of our local delivery pilot programme, of which Greater Manchester is the largest of 12 locations around the country.

The region has some of England's highest levels of inactivity, but our latest Active Lives Adult Survey shows that efforts in the area are having an effect, with nearly 15,000 more people now doing more than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, than 12 months ago.

We must continue working to make sure the benefits of an active lifestyle are available to everyone

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive

That takes the figure up to 1,639,000 people, or 73.3% of the adult population, but still leaves 26.7% of the population as inactive – a fact not lost on their Mayor.

“Already through this campaign we have shared lots of stories of the brilliant work that is happening in communities across our region to enable active lives,” he said. “We are stepping up the pace, with almost 15,000 people moving more as a result of our campaign we continue to close the inactive to active gap twice as fast as the national average.

“There are still challenges to get more people in Greater Manchester moving, inactivity levels remain higher than both the North West and England averages, but by working together and changing our behaviour as a community, we can close that gap and make Greater Manchester an exemplar for the rest of the country.”

28,000 employees to benefit from new active workplace commitment

One element of the drive to boost activity in the region is the newly-launched That Counts! public health campaign, designed to show that being active doesn’t just include going to the gym or playing sport – it can be the activity that is built into your day-to-day life.

In addition to this, a group of employers including Manchester Airport and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust have today confirmed their commitment to helping their employees include more of their recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day into their working life.

“Becoming an active workplace is an important move for us,” said Lesley Hall, people partner at Manchester Airport.

“We’re giving our people the opportunity to be more active with the development of our health and wellbeing strategy, and we’re running focus groups with our colleagues to find out what matters most to them.

“It’s an exciting step forward as a business and can make a big difference in the long run – from an employee wellbeing, business and wider community perspective. It’s just good business sense.”