Unravelling the socio-economic inequalities in grassroot physical activity in the UK
Physical inactivity in the general population is a major problem. Being inactive puts you at a higher risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Nowadays, almost half of the adult population do not meet the recommended physical activity levels for maintaining in good health. Moreover, many societies including the United Kingdom suffer from high levels of inequality in physical inactivity, where disadvantaged communities are affected the most by physical inactivity and its consequences. Local authorities have the responsibility to solve this issue and, to do so, they need to know how physical inactivity looks like in their local populations. In practice, local authorities need to have a measure of how much different population groups are physically inactive and identify what factors determine physical inactivity inequalities. Some of these factors may be modifiable such access to physical activity opportunities and how people spend their free time. All this information is important to help local authorities and public health agencies in designing physical activity promotion policies to effectively reduce these inequalities and the associated human and societal costs. With this research project, we intend to answer those questions for the population of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) by studying physical inactivity inequalities in the adult population at the local level. We hope that findings from this study will be instrumental in shaping future interventions and public health policy aimed to reduce physical inactivity, and ultimately health inequalities and their burden to society.