Football, cricket and rugby union are among the sports that will pay tribute.
As part of the 'Thank You Together' initiative, all of this weekend's Premier League and English Football League matches will be preceded by a moment's applause to thank the NHS and key workers.
The England cricket team's forthcoming series against the West Indies will be named the #raisethebat Test Series in honour of key workers while rugby union head coach Eddie Jones and his England players will record personal thank you messages.
The initiative encourages the whole country to applaud "the commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many" on their doorsteps at 5pm on Sunday, the NHS' 72nd birthday.
NHS staff will also thank their fellow key workers, from bus drivers and refuse collectors to social care staff and teachers, for their support.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "The Premier League will support the NHS and its moment of thanks to recognise the efforts of the health workers, key workers and all those who have shown kindness and care to others during these months."
Bill Sweeney, chief executive officer of the Rugby Football Union added: "Rugby, like the wider sporting community and the nation as a whole, is extremely grateful to and proud of all those who have worked tirelessly through this pandemic going above and beyond to support local communities and the NHS.
"We have been inspired by many stories across the country showing spirit and resilience in these challenging times to ensure that we will come through this together and emerge stronger."
Additional reporting by the Press Association