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Physical activity

Increasing levels of physical activity
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Physical activity can have positive effect on our physical health and wider wellbeing. At the Fund, we’ve had funding programmes which focused on sports within the community and creating new opportunities for PE and Sport. More recently, our Wellbeing programmes have had a broader approach to supporting general physical activity.

Our research shows increased physical activity often leads to greater awareness of health in general. Another benefit is increased motivation to eat healthier. We’ve also seen that improvements in physical fitness and health, especially weight loss, can increase people’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

What works

According to our learning, physical activity projects should think about the following:

  • Activity types
    Activities should focus on being fun, social and enjoyable.
  • Session types
    Encourage people to participate in taster sessions and activity camps (e.g. residentials).
  • Choice
    It’s important to have a wide choice of activities available and to have participant-led activities which give individuals the opportunity to design, plan and deliver activities and take part in physical activity challenges in a supportive environment.
  • Day-to-day
    Help individuals build physical activities into everyday life.
  • Facilities
    Provide high quality changing facilities.
  • Equipment
    Provide small grants to help participant buy small items of equipment to support the activities they do.
  • Volunteering
    Train local people as volunteers to help deliver activities and sustain activities in the longer term.
  • Additional support
    Provide additional support to help increase participation in physical activities to hard-to-reach groups, particularly those with physical or learning disabilities or poor mental health.

These elements should be considered in addition to the ten key success factors of a wellbeing project

This page combines our learning from across a variety of programme evaluations. For copies of the individual programme reports, visit the Health and Wellbeing publications page.