Sportiest Londoners live in the wealthier south west boroughs

running woman-2People living in south west London are the sportiest in the city with a far higher proportion taking part in regular physical activity.

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.

sport particpation map

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.

Sport participation regional

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.

Source data

See also

Sporty Londoners prefer solo exercise

Size matters – and it depends where you live

The way we spend our cash – more rent, less alcohol, healthier eating

Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab



Bombed in 1940 and other lesser-know facts about Wimbledon

wimbledon umpireOver the next 2 weeks around 500,000 people will head to SW19 for the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. For many Londoners it is a great chance to see grand slam tennis at the world’s most famous tournament. For others it’s a great time to avoid Southfields and the crowds on the District Line.

Many publications will give you what you need to know about the tennis. At Urbs we thought we’d simply serve up some of the lesser-known numbers on the tournament.

350,000 cups of tea and coffee will be consumed over the fortnight. Wimbledon is the biggest sports catering event in Europe employing 1,800 staff who will also dish out tonnes of poached salmon and strawberries.

54,250 balls will be used during the tournament’s 662 matches. Balls are changed after every 9 games. Old balls are sold off for £2.50 for a tin of 3 and the proceeds are given to charity.

39,000 is the capacity of the ground, which covers 13.5 acres. Centre Court can seat 15,000 spectators and there’s room for 11,429 on Number 1 Court.

1877 was the year that the championships began, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It was men only until the women’s championship was added in 1884. During all these years there have been only 8 Wimbledons that have not been interrupted by rain.

1940 During the Second World War Centre Court was hit by a bomb. There was no tournament during the war. Other odd events on Centre Court include a streaker in 1996, the year that Sir Cliff Richard famously led a group sing-a-long when rain had stopped play for some hours.

250 The number of ball boys/girls employed to scamper across the court. The staff of the club swells by 6,000 during the tournament, including 700 security people, 350 umpires and line judges, 320 drivers and 200 cleaners

26 The millions of pounds in prize money awarded. The winners of the men’s and ladies’ singles receive a purse of £1.88 million. Losers in the first round get £29,000, not bad for a day’s work, particularly an unsuccessful one.

8 is the height in millimetres of the grass for the Championship. It soon gets worn a lot shorter than that.

1 Harris Hawk is flown around the courts each day to scare off the pigeons. Apparently he is called Rufus.

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See also

Footy fans get a great deal in London – on the tea, at least

A poor day out in the Prem is away fans’ verdict on most London grounds

By Ben Sutherland Flickr- Loftus Road Stadium

Photo: Ben Sutherland (Flickr- Loftus Road Stadium) |Creative Commons

Going to a football match in London rates poorly with away fans, according to a survey carried out by the Football Supporters’ Federation.

It asked 4000 fans to rate their experience of away games. The average score out of 10 for Premier League clubs outside London was 6.4. But for London grounds in the top flight it was 5.4.

To add further misery to a terrible season for QPR, the club has managed to come bottom of another league. A visit to Loftus Road was rated as the worst away experience in the Premier League or the Championship with a score of just 3.6.

Crystal Palace fared little better. While the Holmesdale end is happily singing the praises of Alan Pardew fans in the away corner are giving Selhurst Park a thumbs down with a score of 4.9.

The best Premier League experience in London is at Arsenal’s £390 million palace, the Emirates Stadium, the UK’s third biggest ground after Wembley and Old Trafford. Away fans gave it a generous 6.8. Spurs came second behind their north London rivals.

Away fans

Supporters were asked to rate their away experience based on transport links, turnstiles, stadium layout, sightlines, food and drink, and safety and security.

The top Premier League experience was at the KC Stadium with a score of 7.7, a small consolation for relegated Hull City. The overall winner out of both Premier League and the Championship was Wigan Athletic.

The best experiences in London were at Championship Fulham and at Watford, who will be welcoming the top clubs and their supporters to Vicarage Road next season.

Supporters were also asked what factors influenced their decision about whether to attend an away game. Price and distance were significant factors but with a heavy dose of realism only 4% cited the likelihood of victory as the reason to travel.

Source data

See also:

Footy fans get a great deal in London – on the tea, at least


Sporty Londoners prefer solo exercise

h38% of Londoners are taking part in some form of sporting activity at least once a week.  While solo sports are the favourite way of keeping fit, football is by far the most popular team game with 5% of people over 16 playing each week.

The data on sport in the capital is captured in the Active People survey carried out by Sport England.  They spoke to 160,000 people across England in October last year.  Urbs took a detailed look at the data for people over 16 participating in sport at least once a week.

Sports such as running, swimming, cycling or going to the gym are by far the most popular with 30% of Londoners exercising on their own.  12% are down the gym, making it the favourite solo sporting activity. 6% are swimming,  which is becoming less popular.

Team sports are played by 7% of adults. Football dominates participation in team games and has grown in popularity since 2010. Football also proves more popular in London than the rest of England.

1 on 1 games like tennis and badminton also feature in the survey responses.  These games are enjoyed by 4% of over 16s in the capital.

Sport participation

Londoners emerge from the survey as slightly more active than people across England and with more taking part in sport than in 2010.  But that still leave 62% sitting on the sofa or watching from the sideline rather than taking part.

Source data