Faith’s impact on inactivity
Our research show that people who state they have no religion are more likely to be physically active compared to those that belong to a faith group.
Of those that do, analysis of our Active Lives Adult Survey data shows that participation in sport and physical activity is higher among some faith groups than others.
For example, amongst those practising a religion, those of a Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Sikh faith are more likely to be physically active. In contrast, activity levels are lowest amongst those who practise Islam.
Research also shows there are differences in the types of sport and physical activity that people of different faiths do. For some faith groups, there's also a larger difference between levels of physical activity between men and women. This is influenced by certain cultural expectations around what they should wear or how they behave.
Many of the patterns in sport participation by faith reflect those seen between different ethnicities, which highlights the closeness of the relationship that exists between faith and ethnicity amongst many groups and communities.