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Couch potato Sussex getting no more active
Couch potato Sussex has failed to get any more active over the last seven years despite a series of public health messages and the inspiration of the Olympic Games.
Less than half of the areas in Sussex have seen an increase in adults getting involved in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every week since 2006 according to a new report.
More than six in ten Sussex residents do not take part in regular weekly sport according to the new Sport England survey.
Hastings, Lewes, Wealden, Adur and Horsham have all seen an increase in the number of residents taking steps to stay in shape, but elsewhere in the county including in Worthing and Brighton and Hove, Sport England said there had been no significant increase.
Despite seeing no discernible increase, Brighton and Hove remained the most active region in Sussex with 42% completing two hours of moderate intensity sport a month while in Rother it was just 31% of residents.
The picture was even worse for more intensive workouts, with just four areas seeing an increase in the number of residents exercising three times a week.
Just one in four Sussex residents exercise this frequently.
Councillor Emily Westley, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for leisure, said: “This improvement is very encouraging but activity levels are still particularly low in the town.
“We have a long way to go but we are heading in the right direction.”
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “The figures are based on a fairly small telephone sur¬ vey, so this is a guide only but it’s certainly something we want to improve despite a background of increasingly limited resources for councils.
“That’s why we’ve done things like re-laid a new running track and extended the sports facilities at Withdean and had initiatives like Ping free table tennis tables, and Take Part, which this year won a government Big Difference Award.”
A Mid Sussex District Council spokesman said: “Physical activity levels in Mid Sussex have actually increased over the last seven years and we are working on a number of initiatives that will help more people get involved in regular exercise.
“Over the past 12 months we have allocated more than £100,000 in grant funding to local sports clubs, and last month we started building work on a new £1 million sports and recreation building at Bolnore Village.”
Tina Favier, communities team manager at Adur and Worthing councils, said: “The bottom line is this is a shared responsibility and whilst the councils are doing a lot, it has to be wider individual and societal change that results in people being more active.”
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