Bedford Borough celebrates significant rise in physical activity levels

Active Lives

Bedford Borough Council is happy to announce a significant rise in physical activity levels among residents, according to the latest Sport England Active Lives survey. The survey reveals that 72.8% of the adult population in Bedford Borough is now meeting the Chief Medical Officers' guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This represents a remarkable 14.3% increase compared to previous data, highlighting a positive shift towards a healthier and more active community.

This accomplishment is attributed to a combined effort by the Bedford Borough Council, local community partners, and residents themselves. The Council has been instrumental in promoting physical activity through various initiatives, including:

  • refurbishment of local parks
  • introduction of new cycling and walking paths
  • Street Tag, a free gamified healthy lifestyle app 
  • expansion of accessible fitness classes, including specialised programs, like Active Wellbeing, designed for individuals with long-term health conditions.

Councillor Sarah Gallagher, Portfolio Holder for Customer Experience at Bedford Borough Council, expressed her delight with the results. "We are incredibly proud to see such a substantial rise in physical activity levels. 

“Our ongoing mission has been to cultivate an environment that fosters inclusivity and enjoyment around physical activity for everyone in Bedford Borough. This remarkable increase is a testament to the dedication of our community partners and the commitment of our residents."

Regular exercise is not only crucial for maintaining physical well-being but also contributes significantly to mental health, improved mood, and a higher overall quality of life. This surge in activity levels is expected to have a lasting positive impact on the health of the Bedford Borough population.

While this rise is undoubtedly a positive step, the Council acknowledges the importance of addressing existing inequalities. Socio-economic factors, ethnicity, and disabilities can all significantly impact a person's likelihood to participate in physical activity. The Council is actively working alongside partners like "Be Active" to bridge these gaps and ensure everyone has the opportunity to live an active lifestyle.

Bedford Borough Council has also partnered with Be Active, who has supported Active Lives and many other initiatives across the local area. 

Rob Purdie, Chair of Be Active says the following, "The Active Lives Adults results are a valuable resource to support the work that Be Active are doing in Bedfordshire. 

“The team are making huge strides supporting our ambitions outlined in our strategy 'Moving Forwards Together' but we know that there is still plenty of work to do."

Residents are encouraged to explore the various resources available and discover activities that suit their interests, from joining local sports teams to practicing yoga or simply taking a daily walk.

For more information on local fitness programs and events, please visit the Bedford Borough Council's website at

Together, we can continue to build a healthier and more active Bedford Borough!

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