More than a quarter of the residents of Wandsworth do some form of sporting activity three times per week or more, according to survey data from Sport England. But across London, in Newham and Barking and Dagenham, it is half that. And in Brent just 12% of people are doing that level of activity.
The south west corner of London has 4 boroughs, apart from Wandsworth, with large proportions of sporty people. The data for Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond and Merton shows about a quarter of people doing 3 sessions per week.
But in Bexley and Greenwich it is just 15%. It’s 14% in Newham and Barking and Dagenham. Across the other side of the city, in the north west, it is 15% in Ealing, 13% in Hillingdon, but with 12% Brent has the lowest rate of people doing regular exercise.
South west London is generally a more affluent area than other parts of the capital but the reason why people there are more active in sports is not clear. These boroughs also have low levels of obesity, while the proportion of people with severe weight problems is much higher in boroughs such as Hillingdon, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, as previoulsy reported by Urbs.
The data gathered by Sport England through the Active People Survey also reveals that as a region London has the highest average rate for people doing 3 sessions or more of exercise.
The current rate of 18.3% is up from 17.2% 10 years ago. While this growth has been modest the proportion of people doing no exercise has also seen little change, and remains stubbornly high. Across the capital 52% of the population does no sporting activity. But in Newham it is 62% and in Barking and Dagenham it is 64%.
For these people, getting off the coach to take part in sport 3 times a week may be a very tall order. A more modest achievement may be to find a way to get them to join the 38% of Londoners who take part in sport once a week.