Brits spend a billion more hours watching sport than breaking a sweat

6 March 2018        

Category: Fundraising

We are urging the nation to turn from spectator to sportsperson this summer, as new figures show that the average Brit spends nearly 30 hours more watching sport than getting active every year.

Two cyclists cycling by the Brighton seafront

Watching vs. Partaking

We have released the statistics to encourage people to sign up to its iconic London to Brighton bike ride on Sunday 17 June. We discovered that people spend an estimated 122 hours watching and listening to sport each year; the equivalent of six billion hours across the UK and 81 entire football matches. This is compared to an average of 95 hours a year per person, or five billion hours taking part in sporting activities.

The country's infatuation with watching and listening to sport doesn't stop there, with the UK population spending a total of £11.5 billion a year; the equivalent of £18 per person; a month on consuming sport, which includes things like TV subscriptions for sports channels, sports streaming services, tickets to live games and playing sport-based computer games. This is compared to £11 billion a year, or £17 per person a month on taking part in sport, such as gym membership, sports clothes equipment and event participation.

Different Spending Habits

Men dig deeper into their pockets when it comes to consuming sport, spending a third more than women UK wide each year. Men spend an average of £269 a year, compared to £173 a year for women.

The picture is also different across the UK. Residents in the capital are the biggest splurgers when it comes to watching sport, with an average of £25 a month being spent and residents in Wales shell out the least, with around £12 each month. With only a fifth of the population running or cycling to work at least once a week, compared to three in ten of the working population who watch or listen to sport at least once a week on their commute, it's possibly time to reach for the off button and stop being on the side lines.

Ditch the Devices

We want to transform Brits from TV junkies to champions by encouraging everyone to take on its flagship event, the London to Brighton Bike Ride, and join the fight against heart disease.

Elizabeth Tack, Event Lead for the BHF's London to Brighton Bike Ride, said:

"Our infatuation with sport is clear to see, but breaking a sweat is clearly the less-preferred option, with participation taking a back seat to watching and listening to sport.

"The technology takeover is in full effect, so it's time to ditch the devices and take on our London to Brighton Bike Ride, which will help support our vital research into heart disease. Every pound you raise will help make a difference to millions.

"Don't just cheer your favourite athlete on from the side line or in front of a screen; get involved yourself and be a part of an inspiring and fun-filled day out for all the family".

Iconic Ride

Our London to Brighton Bike Ride has taken place for over 40 years and is Europe's oldest charity cycling event. It's a fantastic chance for families, friends and colleagues to enjoy a day out together, cycling through some of the UK's most picturesque counties. It's a ride for the fast and the fall behinds, the solo riders and the team players. This year's event is sponsored by Jaffa Fruit and will take place on Sunday 17 June.

By taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride you will help power ground-breaking research to bring new hope to the seven million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.

Sign up for this year's London to Brighton Bike Ride