The Physical Activity tool is part of a series of products produced by Public Health England providing local data alongside national comparisons to support local health improvement.

The tool brings together data for the whole of England on physical activity, including walking and cycling, as well as data on related risk factors and conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The tool presents data at local level to help promote physical activity, develop understanding, and support benchmarking, commissioning and service improvement.

The data is grouped into three domains: Key Indicators; Related Conditions and Supporting Information. The Key Indicators provide a summary overview of physical activity and includes a number of key outcomes from the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF); including the percentage of physically active adults (2.13i) and physically inactive adults (2.13ii). Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of a number of health conditions, as listed in the Related Conditions domain, such as (colon / breast) cancer, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and depression. The Supporting Information domain provides population demographic information as well as life expectancy and deprivation values.


[6 Feb 2018] A minor error has been found in the Active Lives Survey data relating to activity rates. Sport England are working to ensure it is corrected and PHE will make revisions to the relevant data in our tools in April. For more information see the Sport England website

Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality accounting for 6% of deaths globally. People who have a physically active lifestyle have a 20-35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke compared to those who have a sedentary lifestyle. Regular physical activity is also associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and colon/breast cancer and with improved mental health. In older adults physical activity is associated with increased functional capacities.

PHE has co-produced the Everybody active, every day framework. This is a national, evidence-based approach to support all sectors to embed physical activity into the fabric of daily life and make it an easy, cost-effective and ‘normal’ choice in every community in England. To make everybody active, every day a reality we need to monitor progress and measure the impact at a population, organisational, programme and individual level. The Physical Activity tool provides evidence at population level and can help promote physical activity at an organisation, programme and individual level.


We intend to add indicators and improve the tool in future and would welcome feedback to help us do this. Please send any feedback to:

Physical activity data for additional geographies and levels of activity

Please note: Due to the change in methodology and different age range, this indicator should not be compared to the new indicator (Percentage of physically active adults)

To help further understand the physical activity levels of local areas we have also produced the following spreadsheet with supporting indicators at Local Authority, County Sports Partnerships, regional and national level. This includes four categories of physical activity: less than 30 minutes, 30-89 minutes, 90-149 minutes and 150+ minutes per week. Additionally, national level data is presented on activity levels split by age, sex, ethnicity, disability and socioeconomic status.

Recent updates

Feb 2018

The Related Conditions domain has been updated with a new data point for the Killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties on England's roads indicator. In the Supporting Information domain new data points have been added to the Healthy life expectancy at birth and Life expectancy at birth indicators.

Jan 2018

The Related Conditions domain has been updated with new data points for the child excess weight indicators (Reception and Year 6) and the Children killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents indicator. In the Supporting Information domain a new data point has been added to the Life expectancy at 65 indicator.

Dec 2017

This update includes a new indicator, Access to woodland, which is available within the Key Indicators domain.

Nov 2017

This update includes a new adult excess weight indicator. The Related Conditions domain has also been updated with new data points for the Colorectal and Breast Cancer indicators. In the Supporting Information domain new data points have been added to the Percentage of the population aged <18 and percentage aged 65+.

Sep 2017

This update includes two new physical activity indicators; percentage of physically active adults - current method and percentage of physically inactive adults - current method. These new indicators will provide an update, in terms of data source and definition, to the physical activity indicators previously published.

Sep 2016

First version released