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2012 Olympics had little impact on physical activity

The London 2012 Olympic Games had little effect on the nation’s exercise levels, a new report has suggested.

The Health Survey for England 2012 shows that the proportion of adults who met with the Government’s recommendations for optimal physical exercise stayed relatively stable from 2008-12, despite the aims of the Games’ organisers.

One of the planned legacies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was an increase in sports and exercise participation by the general public across the country.

Yet figures collected before, during, and after the 2012 Games show that only three in five adults - 67% of men and 55% of women - met the Government’s recommendations for physical activity, a scant improvement on 2008’s 65% of men and 53% of women.

Guidelines issued by the chief medical officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland state that adults aged 19 and over should spend at least 150 minutes per week engaging in moderately intensive physical activity in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, or 75 minutes per week doing vigorous physical activity, or both.

The survey of 8,291 adults was carried out by NatCen Social Research on behalf of the Health and Social Care Information Centre. It concluded: ‘No Olympic legacy [was] yet visible’.


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