16 Jun, 2015

Britain’s Olympic legacy is a sedentary nation

The Guardian | David Conn | 15 June 2015

Over £9bn was spent on three weeks of elite sports. But London 2012 has failed to inspire, and after years of increasing poverty and inequality we’re now doing less exercise

The vacuous sales pitch that hosting the 2012 Olympics in London would inspire the nation to be more active has finally suffered a terminal blow, with the revelation in Sport England’s latest half-yearly survey that 220,000 fewer people did sport of any kind than in the previous six months. The total number of adults taking part in sport now stands at 15.5m, 35.5% of England’s population.

Currently 39% of wealthier classes do regular sport, a 1% increase since 2005. A markedly lower proportion, 26%, of less well-off people do sport: a 1.5% drop since 2005. So almost 75% of people in poorer sections of society do no regular sport at all.