National data show that many minority ethnic groups are less active than average and are less likely to achieve the recommended levels of regular physical activity. This is most pronounced for Bangladeshi and Pakistani women. 5

One of the recommendations for tackling obesity from the recent 5-19s health needs assessment in Hackney and the City is to get a greater proportion of young people to be active every day, especially in Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. 6 The Hackney resident health and wellbeing survey did not identify any statistically significant differences in levels of physical activity or inactivity between ethnic groups, which is likely due in part to an insufficient sample size. Black and Asian respondents to the survey were more likely to report doing physical activity in the home than White residents (who are more likely to report doing physical activity outside the home).

Barriers to physical activity identified among the City’s Muslim community include the design of local facilities (e.g. the swimming pool in the Golden Lane leisure centre can be seen from outside the pool area, which deters Muslim women from using it) as well as the location (again, the Golden Lane leisure centre is perceived to be too far away from, and therefore inaccessible to, estates in the east of the City which house the largest numbers of Muslim residents). 7

The Hackney Walking Potential study conducted in 2015 found that the group with the highest potential to increase their levels of walking contained ethnic minority groups on a low income. Based on existing evidence on health inequalities, increasing physical activity among these communities could positively impact on improving health outcomes such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 8

References

  1. Public Health England, “Health matters: getting every adult active every day,” 2016.
  2. London Borough of Hackney and Corporation of the City of London, “Health Needs Assessment for 5-19 year olds,” 2016.
  3. Sport Leisure Culture , “City of London Corporation Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, 2015-2020,” 2015.
  4. SDG, “Hackney Walking Potential Study,” 2015.
  5. Public Health England, “Health matters: getting every adult active every day,” 2016.
  6. London Borough of Hackney and Corporation of the City of London, “Health Needs Assessment for 5-19 year olds,” 2016.
  7. Sport Leisure Culture , “City of London Corporation Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, 2015-2020,” 2015.
  8. SDG, “Hackney Walking Potential Study,” 2015.