North East has among the lowest levels of physical activity in the country, warns charity chief

Rise NE chief executive Clare Morley
Rise NE chief executive Clare Morley -Credit:Elliot Nichol Photography

A "significant proportion" of people in the North East are physically inactive, a charity boss has warned - highlighting how this has a knock-on impact on our wider health.

This comes following a report from Sport England that shows our region continues to come at the bottom of the table when it comes to how much exercise we get each week. Sport England has found that more than a quarter of people here are officially physically inactive - defined as doing less that 30 minutes of physical activity across a week.

The data shows that in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear 27.27% don't hit that mark, compared to 25.70% across England as a whole. In Gateshead and South Tyneside, around a third of the population are considered inactive, while rates are above average in Sunderland and North Tyneside too.

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Clare Morley, chief executive of charity Rise - which works across our communities to fund programmes helping us to get active - said: "While it’s heartening that British adults are the most active they’ve been in a decade, unfortunately this does not reflect the picture in our region – the North East has some of the lowest levels of physical activity in the country.

"It’s a proven fact that physically inactive populations are often also the most marginalised – and most likely to be adversely affected by health, social and economic inequalities. A significantly high proportion of our communities are considered inactive – that is doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week."

She said the charity would continue to "work tirelessly" to highlight how physical activity can transform society and tackle issues such as mental health and even community cohesion. She added: "We work with partners to collaborate around many of the big issues that our communities face. In particular, we really want to support the people in the North East who are physically inactive, and work with partners and organisations across the region to use movement as a tool to change lives."

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth added: "While there are many positives, the report also reminds us how much there is still to do. At the moment, a person’s likeliness to be active depends too much on their bank balance and postcode.

"That’s why we will unapologetically continue to target our investment into places where it can make the biggest difference, and on the groups who have most to gain."