Oxford is the fittest city in the UK and the number of people taking part in regular exercise is on the increase, two separate studies have found.
A survey of 2,000 adults, carried out by Adapt Nutrition, found that residents in Oxford do more exercise than those who live in other UK cities.
The research found 74 per cent of those asked worked out at least once a week.
Liverpool was named the second fittest city, with 65 per cent exercising once a week, while Manchester came in third, with 63 per cent.
Separately, Sport England’s Active People Survey (APS) found that more people in Oxford are now taking part in sport at least once a week.
When the survey was first carried out in 2005/06, only 38.3 per cent of Oxford residents (16+) were participating in sport at least once a week, but the newly-released 2014/15 survey shows that 46.1 per cent of residents (14+*) are now participating in sport at least once a week.
By comparison, just 36.9 per cent of residents (14+) in the South East, and 35.5 per cent across England, took part in sport at least once a week in 2014/15.
The survey also found that 65.9 per cent of Oxford residents (16+) undertook 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. This compares to 59 per cent in the South East and just 57 per cent across England.
Although the survey discovered that 15.6 per cent of residents (16+) are inactive in Oxford – taking part in fewer than 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity per week – this compared well to the national average of 27.7 per cent.
Oxford City Council is committed to continuing the improving trend and is providing more and more affordable opportunities to take part in sports and exercise.
Since April 2015, almost 38,000 people have participated in activities and programmes run by the City Council’s Sports Development team, including Oxford Health Walks, beginner jogging groups, table tennis, Zumba and Tai Chi. The figure also includes those taking part in activities as part of the City Council’s Youth Ambition programme, including Girls’ Night Out and Learn to Skateboard.
On top of this, the City Council has also invested millions of pounds in sports and exercise facilities across Oxford’s communities.
In December the Council celebrated the completion of a £316,000 investment into outdoor fitness equipment across the city’s parks, while in January it opened Oxford Spires Sport & Fitness and the £4.76m Rose Hill Community Centre, which includes a gym and health facility.
In January the Council also celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of Leys Pools & Leisure Centre. The £9m centre attracted 412,967 visitors between January and November 2015, compared to a combined 248,599 visitors who used the former Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Blackbird Leys Pool and Temple Cowley Pools in the same period during 2014.
Councillor Mark Lygo, Executive Board Member for Leisure, Sport and Events, said: “I’m really pleased to see that more and more people are taking part in sport, activities and regular exercise in Oxford. Not only is regular exercise good for mental and physical health, it is also fun.
“Oxford City Council is committed to continuing this improving trend and will continue to invest in affordable sports and exercise opportunities for communities across the city.”
For more information about the work of Oxford City Council’s Sports Development team and how you can get active in Oxford, visit our Leisure and Culture pages.
Notes to editors
* The sports participation survey began including 14 and 15 year olds for the first time two years ago.