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Major new study on health & wellbeing benefits of #swimming released

Major new study on health benefits of swimming released. The executive summary of the full scientific report can be found here and strategic response by Swim England here.

For more information access: http://j.mp/HealthCommissionReport

 Key messages:

  • Swimming is uniquely placed to support people throughout their entire life.
  • Swimming lowers the risk of early death by 28%.
  • Swimming lessons help children to develop skills quicker.
  • Swimming and aquatic activity is a safe, cost effective and viable option for healthcare professionals to signpost patients.
  • Call for more research on the impact of physical activity on mental health and long term conditions. 

A new study that evidences the health and wellbeing benefits of swimming has been

released today by Swim England.


The report shows that the unique benefits of water make it the perfect place for people of all

ages to exercise, particularly those with long term health conditions.


The report also found evidence that swimmers live longer and regular swimming helps older

people stay mentally and physically fit. Importantly, it also showed that participation in

swimming lessons can help children to develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker

than those who do not have lessons.


Swim England commissioned the independent report and will use the findings to raise

awareness within the health profession that swimming is a safe, cost effective and viable

option to signpost patients. 

The national governing body for swimming in England is also calling on the wider health and

sports sector to come together and invest in further research on the impact of physical

activity on mental health and long term conditions.


Jane Nickerson, Swim England CEO, said: “It is evident from the report that swimming has

enormous potential to support the health and wellbeing of the nation. The unique properties

of water means that unlike other activities, no one is restricted from taking part.

“The report particularly highlights the benefits of swimming and aquatic activities for people

with mental health concerns or problems with their joints and muscles. This supports

findings from our Dementia Friendly Swimming project, but is an area where further research

across the health and sports sector is required.

“We will use the report findings to continue to develop our Health and Wellbeing Model and

our Aquatic Activity for Health qualification. We will also be working closely with the

swimming workforce and health practitioners to increase awareness of the benefits of

swimming and make it a viable option for signposting patients.”


Mike Farrar, Swim England Group Board Chairman and former CEO of the NHS

Confederation, said: “For too long, national guidelines have concentrated on the cardio

vascular benefits of exercise undertaken by healthy people, rather than on those who are

less fit or have long term health conditions.

“To fully understand the links between physical activity and health in the general population,

we would need to see more national resources invested into research. This report shows

that activities like swimming really do have the potential to be a game-changer in supporting

the health of this nation, especially at a time when cuts to services means less money for

long-term care.”


The reports remit was developed by the Swimming and Health Commission under the

Chairmanship of Professor Ian Cumming. The Health Education England Chief Executive,

said: “The Swimming and Health Commission was established by Swim England to explore

the evidence base for the health benefits of swimming. The resulting academic report is a

ground-breaking collection of papers that identify striking and robust evidence for the

significant improvements in health and quality of life that swimming produces.

“Swim England is the first sport governing body to support such an in-depth investigation of

its relationship with health and wellbeing and I would like to applaud them for their foresight

and for producing a piece of work that I am sure will become a reference document for many

years to come.”

Many thanks to all the authors of the report, Exercise Works!, Seven Stones Design and the Swim England Swimming and Health Commission.

The full Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report and Swim England’s response

can be accessed via: http://www.swimming.org/swimengland/new-report-shows-health-benefits-swimming/


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Alison Clowes via

alison.clowes@swimming.org or 07919 548039

Infographics with statistical information are available on request.


About the Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report

The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report was commissioned by the Swimming and

Health Commission on behalf of Swim England to explore the impact of swimming on physical, mental

and social wellbeing. It has been written by a range of eminent academics and is supported by the

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies.

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body

for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in

all aquatic sports.

The vision of Swim England is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the

water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving,

water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim


Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education

programmes to develop the workforce. For more information visit swimming.org/swimengland

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