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Modern day life can make us inactive but the places in which we live, work and visit can play a vital role in keeping us active.

Designing and adapting environments to encourage activity in our everyday lives can help to make physical activity easier and appealing for everyone. The design and layout of environments should be inclusive, accessible and address the differing needs of people throughout their life stages to support the reduction of inequalities and to encourage physical activity.


In October 2015 Sport England in conjunction with Public Health England produced an Active Design Document which included planning for health and wellbeing through sport and physical activity via a set of design guidelines to get more people moving through suitable design and layout. Could include a link to the document – able to add link to doc download if supplied.

The creation of healthy places and active environments requires the collaborative input of many different partners through many disciplines including planning, design, transport and health, along with developers working with local communities.

The new 10-year Sport England Strategy Uniting the Movement has five big issues one of which is active environments, and this continues the promotion of the environment being an important factor in increasing physical activity levels. Link to doc will be added when supplied.

The Strategy states that “there is no such thing as a ‘neutral space’. The places and spaces around us can have a positive or negative impact on whether, how, when and where we move.”


Active travel supports spending less time in cars and more time on foot or cycle and includes the everyday journeys we make to get from place to place such as cycling to work or walking to school. Active travel is a healthy and sustainable means of transport including

  • Walking
  • Scooting
  • Cycling and
  • Park and stride

Walking and cycling are good for physical and mental health. Switching more journeys to active travel will improve health, quality of life, the environment and contribute to the climate change agenda.