What is Greater Manchester Moving?

Greater Manchester Moving is the ‘comprehensive plan to reduce inactivity and increase participation in physical activity and sport that is aligned to the Greater Manchester Population Health Plan priority themes and wider reform agenda’. Our shared purpose is to positively change the lives of people across Greater Manchester through physical activity and sport.

Building from our strengths and through system wide collaboration, we will double the rate of past improvements, reaching the target of 75% of people active or fairly active by 2025.

Why is this important?

Inactivity is a stubborn partner and a challenge to shift. Doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week is a key cause of obesity and one of the top 10 causes of early deaths. Regular exercise can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, which together costs Greater Manchester’s health services more than £26 million every year.

Physical inactivity also costs our local economy £325m a year. 15 million days are lost due to sickness absences across the North West each year – with physically active workers taking far fewer sick days and work-based physical activity programmes helping to reduce absences. For individuals, doing 30 minutes of exercise three times a week has been calculated to increase average earnings by 7.5%.

Increasing physical activity can also improve mental health, reducing stress and increasing self-esteem, strengthen friendships, family and community relationships, and improve our air quality and environment.

And becoming more active is often one of the easiest and most positive lifestyle choices someone can make – after which they are then more likely to make other changes such stopping smoking, drinking less or eating better.

We understand why it’s crucial to help our region become more physically active. Whether we walk, run, swim, cycle, play sports or learn a new skill, activity has a hugely positive effect on our health and wellbeing.

Moving more can reduce rates of:

  • Breast cancer by 20%
  • Colon cancer, depression and dementia by 30%
  • Cardiovascular disease by up to 35%
  • Type 2 diabetes by up to 40%
  • Hip fractures by up to 68%.

In our more-deprived communities, the statistics are even more troubling. In fact, we’re seeing a huge difference across our Greater Manchester wards: the average life expectancy is eight years lower in the more-deprived communities than the least-deprived communities. This worries us, so we’re striving to change it.

What are Greater Manchester's physical activity levels?

  • 31% of the adult population – more than 700,000 people – do less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.
  • Levels of inactivity are particularly high among those aged 75 and over (53%), those with a disability (46%) and those least well off (44%).
  • Two-thirds of adults in Greater Manchester are overweight or obese – above the national average.
  • Almost a quarter of pupils (24%) start school overweight – increasing to almost two in five (38%) when leaving primary school. Both rates are higher than the rest of the country.
  • Each year we make around 200 million car journeys shorter than one kilometre – the equivalent of a 15-minute walk or a five-minute bike ride.
  • Only 40% of children in Greater Manchester do an average of more than 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

All data from Active Lives (Adults) November 19/20, Active Lives (CYP) 19/20, the National Child Measurement Programme 19/20 and Transport for Greater Manchester.

We are delighted to be working with local partners to develop and implement the Greater Manchester Moving plan. It sets out our shared ambition to achieve a major increase in the number of people engaged in physical activity, in line with Sport England’s strategy Towards An Active Nation.