A total of 22.7 million Brits – more than a third of the total population – took part in physical activity during the recent National Fitness Day.
Held on 22 September, the National Fitness Day 2021 smashed all records on its 10th anniversary, with more than 11.35 million children (up from 8.67 million in 2020) and 11.32 million adults (up from 10.45 million in 2020) estimated to have taken part.
In total, more than 4,365 free activities and events took place across the UK, either physically or online.
According to sports minister, Nigel Huddleston, the record-breaking figures show that there is a hunger for people to get more physically active.
“We know exercise and physical activity deliver huge benefits to our general health and wellbeing,” Huddleston said.
“Gyms and leisure centres play a crucial role in improving access to health and fitness activities for people from all backgrounds, so I would urge everyone to get along to their local facilities and make it National Fitness Day every day.”
The theme for National Fitness Day 2021 was “Fitness Unites Us”, recognising the power of physical activity to unite the nation, particularly in light of the physical and mental health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Awareness of the day was supported by polling from ukactive, which showed that less than a third (27 per cent) of UK adults were as physically fit as they would like to be following the pandemic.
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “These figures show the incredible impact of National Fitness Day and the power of our sector to reach millions of new people and really get the nation moving more.
“National Fitness Day has grown to become one of the most important annual events for the UK’s physical and mental health; representing far more than a single day of activity, it is now a powerful trigger that inspires change for people and is inclusive of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, throughout the year.
“We want National Fitness Day 2022 to be even bigger, with more people getting active, so we are calling on everyone in the physical activity sector, as well as those in positions of political leadership, to join us in a united movement to get the nation moving.”
By Tom Walker – Leisure Opps