Targets to build an active nation

Our target is to get half a million more people active, with a focus on women and those in lower socio-economic groups

30 January 2018

Two women playing netball

We’re setting a series of ambitious targets to help us realise our vision of a more active nation for everyone. 

By 2020, we want to:    

  • Increase the numbers of people in England who are regularly active by 500,000 nationally
  • Increase the numbers of women who are regularly active by 250,000 nationally
  • Increase the numbers of people from lower socio-economic groups who are more active by 100,000 (within targeted locations).  

We know these targets are not going to be easy to achieve, but that’s why we’ve set them.

250,000 more women active by 2020

Our research shows how challenging it can be for people to get into sport and physical activity in the first place, and once they have, to stay active    

Put simply, everyday life can get in the way.

But as our Towards an Active Nation strategy is showing, we need to work and think differently to address the inequalities that exist.

That means us building a variety of partnerships and working with the whole sport sector to really think about people who are under-represented in sport and physical activity.

We’ll be using our Active Lives data to measure our progress towards these targets, with our next release in March giving us the first chance to compare year-on-year figures.

People who we describe as ‘active’ do 150 minutes or more of moderate intensity activity per week.

Rising to the challenge

As well as working towards these new targets, which are being measured from November 2016 to November 2020, our wider work to build an active nation is not slowing down. 

And we’re committed to supporting the 27 million people who are already active by marking sure they have the right facilities, activities and mixture of opportunities. 

Sport England Chair Nick Bitel said: The government’s Sporting Future strategy set out a big vision to create a more active nation for all. Sport England and the whole sport sector is rising to the challenge and this is reflected in the ambitious targets we're announcing today.

We're working towards something that has never been achieved before. We're changing long-term, deep-rooted behaviour around sport and physical activity across the population.

There's no blueprint to do this and achieving success will require the sector to think and operate very differently, engage with people that it has never really engaged with before, and put those people, and their needs, at the heart of everything.

By investing in new ways of working, working with a broad range of partners, embracing innovation and constantly learning from what we do, we aim to prove that change in activity levels across the whole population is possible – and that everyone can benefit from sport and physical activity.