“Physical activity is often described as the most cost-effective drug we have. Its benefits are far-reaching, from prevention of disease to improving self-esteem.” (Selby, 2017)
Evidence clearly shows that people in the UK are around 20% less active now than in the 1960s and if this trends continues our population will be 35% less active by 2030.
We are the first generation that needs to make a conscious decision to build physical activity into our daily lives. Sedentary lifestyles dominate the two places we spend the most of our time; home and work, with fewer manual jobs and technology dominating both settings.
Societal changes have designed physical activity out of our lives with, for example, increasing car ownership a major factor in decreasing activity levels. In the UK in 1961, only 31% of households owned a car or van, but by 2012 this had increased to 75%.
Regular physical activity can help to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions and diseases, many of which are on the rise and are affecting people at an earlier age; 1 in 3 people working age have at least 1 long term condition and 1 in 7 have more than one.
The health benefits of increased physical activity for those who are active less than 30 minutes a week could, for example, prevent one in ten cases of stroke and heart disease in the UK and one in six deaths from any cause. The positive impact of physical activity on mental health and wellbeing is well established
Despite the physical, mental, social and economic benefits of being active, Sport England’s Active Lives Survey indicates that around 1 in 4 Bexley adults (25.9%) are actually physically inactive.
Lack of physical activity costs the UK between an estimated £7.4 and £8.2 billion a year, including £0.9 billion to the NHS alone.
In Bexley, the cost of inactivity in adults has been estimated as high as £49 million per annum. (UK Active, Turning the tide of inactivity). 
This chapter covers adults’ and children’s physical activity and selected measures on sport and physical activity.
 Active Lives Survey November 2016 – November 2017, published March 2018.
 The total combined economic and social costs of inactivity. The Chief Medical Officer defines physical inactivity as participation in less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week.