RESIDENTS in Tendring are some of the least active in the East of England, it has been revealed.

A survey by Sport England found three out of ten residents in the district do less than half an hour of exercise a week.

The organisation asked 496 residents in Tendring about their exercise habits as part of its annual Active Lives survey.

Of these, 30 per cent said they did less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.

A further 16 per cent said they were fairly active, doing between 30 and 149 minutes of activity, while just 54 per cent managed to get at least 150 minutes of exercise – the threshold for an 'active' lifestyle.

The figures placed the area fifth out of the region's 48 local authorities for inactivity.

Lynda McWilliams, Tendring Council's cabinet member for partnerships, said inactivity levels were one of the reasons why Tendring was part of a national Sport England pilot to tackle the issue.

“Tendring, along with Colchester and Basildon, form the focus area of Essex Local Delivery Pilot area part of a national initiative from Sport England which is investing around £10million in Essex to test new, innovative ways of addressing inactivity,” she said.

“This is really exciting work, looking at grassroots ways of removing the barriers to getting people active and supporting them to be active for the long term.

"With a focus on deprived areas, this is a partnership project lasting several years supporting passionate members of our communities to realise their potential.

"Embracing activity will not happen overnight, hence the long-term nature of the project, however, if we can achieve short-term change then we will support that.

“Elsewhere across the council we are taking steps to tackle the issue, such as investing in our leisure centres to encourage more people to use them – with £525,000 set aside for improvements to Clacton Leisure Centre – or looking at planning policy and how we can build-in activity, such as cycling, in new developments.”

The survey also revealed residents in Colchester are becoming less active.

Of the 488 residents of the borough who were surveyed, 63.9 per cent said they did at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

The figure is down from 68.5 per cent when the survey started three years ago.

The NHS says adults aged between 19 and 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week to stay healthy.

This could include cycling over flat ground, brisk walking, or water aerobics.

They should also do strength exercises such as yoga, pilates, or lifting weights twice a week.

Almost 178,000 people across England were polled for the latest survey, which revealed a record 63 per cent of people were active.

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said more needed to be done.

He said: "It shows us that efforts to help more people get active are starting to make a real difference, particularly for older adults, women and those with a disability or long-term health condition.

“But we can’t be complacent. Within the overall positive picture of these figures is a sobering reality – if you are well-off, you are far more likely to be active than if you’re on a low income or less affluent.

“While there are complex barriers that stop less well-off people from getting active, this is an unacceptable inequality and one we’re starting to address in the work we are doing across the country."

According to the survey, the poorest people are the most likely to be inactive – 33 per cent did less than half an hour activity, compared to just 16 per cent of the wealthiest people.

They were also the least likely to be active, with just 54 per cent doing 150 minutes of exercise compared to 72 per cent among the more affluent group.