Activity Alliance Release Disability & Activity Report

Activity Alliance has released its fourth Annual Disability and Activity Survey report, covering 2022-23. Below are the key points the survey has revealed, according to the Activity Alliance. You can access more info, including the survey data on their website.

This year’s results show we are not seeing enough positive trends in disabled people’s perceptions and experiences of being active. Greater effort is needed to tackle inequalities that affect disabled people, especially to reduce loneliness and the impact of the rising cost of living.

The survey was conducted by IFF Research. 998 disabled people and 976 non-disabled people aged 16+ took part. 28 disabled people also took part in a series of online workshops to discuss the findings and explore ideas for action. This survey complements Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey. It provides greater detail on issues of importance to disabled people.

The report findings are split into seven themes. These were developed based on discussion with disabled people, and feedback from organisations that deliver and promote activity. Each theme outlines Activity Alliance’s commitment and our ask to the sport and activity sector. The themes are:

  1. Participation and experience
  2. Physical health and healthcare professionals
  3. The rising cost-of-living
  4. Mental health and wellbeing
  5. Representation
  6. Co-production and influence
  7. Outdoor spaces and active travel.

Key findings:

  • Disabled people were more likely to say they wanted to be more active compared to non-disabled people (77% vs 54%). This “activity gap” has remained consistent in previous years, showing an ongoing unmet need.
  • Four in ten disabled people (37%) said the cost-of-living crisis has affected how active they are, versus three in ten non-disabled people (32%).
  • Six in ten disabled people (60%) also reported that the increase in cost of living has reduced how much they socialise.
  • There is a clear spending gap for what disabled people are spending and want to spend on physical activity. Disabled people reported spending an average of £13.40 less than non-disabled people in being active each month. Disabled people want to spend more than non-disabled people on being active (34% vs 27%), whereas non-disabled people were more likely to want to spend less (27% vs 19%).
  • However – many disabled people fear that being more active will result in their benefits or financial assistance being removed (37%).
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of disabled people said the government should focus on making activities affordable to help more people to be active.
  • Disabled people are nearly three times more likely than non-disabled people to feel lonely always or often (23% vs 8%).
  • Over the last four years, there has been an upward trend in disabled people feeling lonelier, while non-disabled people reported steady or decreasing levels of loneliness. Since the start of the pandemic, disabled people were more likely to feel isolated (54% vs 30%).
  • Nearly two-thirds of disabled people who felt lonely agreed that being active could help them feel less lonely (65%).
  • Disabled people were also significantly less likely to report high satisfaction with their life (5% vs 17%).
  • Younger disabled people and people with five or more impairments were most likely to say the cost-of-living crisis has reduced how active they are (58% and 56%) and how much they socialise (74% and 75%).

More detail plus the data can be found on their website