Despite distractions from our television screens and smartphone devices, the United Kingdom is embracing sport more than it ever has before.
New research from Science in Sport suggests that over 1.5 million more adults have started playing regular sports in the past ten years, with London alone seeing a further 440,000 adults participating in sports up to three times a week.
Although the capital has seen the greatest level of participation increase, it’s not the only area of the UK where sport is being taken more seriously. Every UK region noted improvements to its sports participation levels over the past ten years, with London and the South West seeing the biggest increases at 2.7 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. East Anglia and the North East, on the other hand, are the lowest scorers, growing at 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent in the past decade.
It is believed that the success of events such as the London Olympics – and indeed the Rio Olympics, where Team GB managed to take home gold medals across 15 different sports – has played a significant role in the growth of British sporting. Rowing and athletics are notable examples of post-Olympics success; although relatively niche ten years ago, these sports are now enjoyed by millions across the UK at fitness clubs and through newly-formed professional teams.
Fitness apps – such as MyFitnessPal and FitBit – are also a contributing factor. Thanks to their easy-to-use interfaces and competitive nature, more UK citizens are taking their fitness to the next level and doing so using their smartphones and fitness bands.
Cycling is another sport which has soared in recent times. According to the research from Science in Sport, over half a million additional adults have taken to their bicycles since 2005, with events such as the Tour de Yorkshire clearly playing their part in the sport’s rise in popularity.
You can find out more interesting statistics about sports participation in the UK, and hear from some of the UK’s most accomplished athletes, by reading through the infographic below.