Recovery and recommendations

The coronavirus pandemic has given us the opportunity to reframe physical activity and sedentary behaviour and, alongside mental health, is something that can be used as a foundation to aid in the recovery from the pandemic. The goal should not be to return to the ‘old normal’ but to strive for a new ‘better normal’ with physical activity at its heart.

For the recovery to be meaningful, evidence collected by Leeds Beckett University suggests that we could consider 5 things;

  • Meaningful community engagement is essential.
  • We should identify those groups who are struggling.
  • We must understand and empower communities.
  • We must engage in a culturally competent way.
  • And one size does not fit all.

The same research also sets out 4 key recommendations for physical activity. We must;

1) Reactivate feelings of capability and motivation and provide opportunities to re-engage in activity.

2) Physical Activity may not be a priority for most people so we should consider how to approach and encourage this behaviour.

3) Address new barriers or competing interests/concerns.


4) Accent supportive social and environmental factors.

Sport England has also produced a useful ‘Return to play’ report with a series of recommendations of how to return people to sport and physical activity. The report can be accessed here.