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Health conditions

We know people with a long-term health condition are more likely to be inactive than those without. Ignoring stereotypes and understanding the barriers to participation are key.

At a glance

Benefits of being active

While we know it can be tough getting people with long-term health conditions active, there needn’t be an assumption that they can’t.

In fact, research shows us that those who are least active stand to benefit the most in terms of their health and happiness by getting active. 

Furthermore, a major review of scientific evidence and expert clinical and patient consensus has found physical activity is safe – even for people living with symptoms of multiple conditions. 

That’s why we’re working hard to break down these stereotypes and work with organisations and partners to get more people with long-term health conditions active.

A group of people walking together through a park.

A collaborative approach

It’s important to understand the differing motivations and barriers for specific audiences when it comes to sport and physical activity, rather than a one size fits all approach responding to stereotypes.

Importantly, people with health conditions cannot be thought of as one homogenous group of people. A complex backdrop of economic and health inequalities magnifies the impact of barriers to getting active felt by all, such as confidence or knowing where to go, through to cost, lack of time and appropriate opportunity. This explains why there isn’t a single reason for inactivity. 

That's why we believe a collaborative approach will address the fundamental issue of reducing inactivity among people with health conditions. In practise, this means working in partnership with a variety of organisations across sectors who know and understand the specific audiences we want to target, including partners who we’ve traditionally not worked with. 

By ensuring investments are evidence-based, we can help deliver more opportunities for people with health conditions to get active.

Women working out together

Our strategy – Uniting the Movement

Getting people with health conditions more involved in sport and activity, through campaigns like We Are Undefeatable, was a crucial part of our Towards an Active Nation strategy. 

Our new strategy, Uniting the Movement, is our plan to make being physically active a normal part of life for everyone in England – to make it easier for all of us as we go about our everyday lives.

Because currently, it’s not always a level playing field.

We know that people with a long-term health condition, and disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive than those without a disability or health condition.

This inequality, as well as others, are at the very core of Uniting the Movement and we have a laser focus on tackling them in all that we do, because providing opportunities to people and communities that have traditionally been left behind, and helping to remove the barriers to activity, has never been more important.

Learn more about our Uniting the Movement strategy

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