A key priority within GM Moving in Action is to realise the potential of movement, physical activity and sport to support individual and collective economic inclusion, wealth creation and an inclusive economic reset in Greater Manchester, as described in the Local Economic Partnership Vision.

There is a strong correlation between deprivation and inactivity. Data shows people, families and communities living in poverty, on low incomes or with low levels of economic wealth and security are less likely to be active.  It’s a vicious cycle, as inactivity contributes to poorer physical and mental health, limiting an individual’s productivity and chances of good employment.

Supporting people to move more supports individual development, health, wellbeing and happiness which in turn supports individual productivity, independence and economic wealth and inclusion. Active people are more likely to get jobs, sustain work and be promoted. 

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Supporting children and young people to be active increases their chances of future employment and economic independence. Supporting parents and carers to live an active life can help reduce risk of family poverty.

There are also organisational and collective benefits of moving more. Creating the conditions for an active workforce or community, supports greater collective productivity and wealth creation for organisations and places.

And there are benefits for the whole Greater Manchester economy. Inactivity places a significant burden on the economy, limiting productivity and wealth creation of both individuals and organisations. In turn, this limits the economy whilst also placing a greater demand on the public purse through the extra demand on the NHS and other public services and welfare support. 

Supporting people, families, communities and workforces to be active is key to Greater Manchester’s recovery and in building a strong, resilient economy for the future.

Research from Sport England and Sheffield Hallam University shows that how we move and stay active is vital to our individual development, to the public purse and to our the economy.

Social return on investment for sport and physical activity in England

For every £1 spent on sport and physical activity in England, £3.28 of social impacts are generated

£9.59 billion

Physical and mental health

£41.76 billion

Mental wellbeing

£282 billion

Individual development

£19.97 billion

Social and community development

The sport and physical activity sector also contributes directly to the economy of Greater Manchester, and there is an opportunity to grow this further and to ensure it goes further in addressing inequalities.

The economic benefits of moving grows further if you factor in the contribution made through active travel infrastructure, interventions and support, and the design and development of active environments and healthy place-making more broadly.

As employers, investors, contractors, funders and commissioners, the ‘physical activity’ sector (including active travel and design) has the potential to make a sizeable difference to the opportunities available in Greater Manchester for work and skills.  

Good employment, a commitment to the Living Wage, the growth of co-operative approaches and the support to social enterprise, small businesses, community and voluntary sector organisations are all fundamental building blocks of a strong, diverse and resilient physical activity and sport sector. This has never been more evident than during the pandemic.

The diagram below (Active Partnership Network 2020) shows the many aspects to the complex relationship between an inclusive economy, employment, movement, physical activity, sport and health. Our collective work on GM Moving needs to work with all of them.