Northern Ireland: physical activity policy snapshot

This snapshot presents strengths and weaknesses of national physical activity policy actions in Northern Ireland. Compare Northern Ireland with other European countries in our MOVING policy index

Northern Ireland implements policy actions in five out of the six policy areas of the MOVING framework. The highest assessment achieved was only moderate for existing policies promoting physical activity in schools, community, and recreation (M).

Weaknesses are identified throughout the framework but in particular on physical activity in schools and physical activity for all  ages and abilities (M), physical activity guidelines (N) alongside public open space and green space (V), road safety actions (I). Gaps were identified in a lack of community initiatives promoting physical activity (M), public information campaigns (N) and physical activity training for healthcare professionals (G).

No action was taken to promote physical activity opportunities in the workplace (O); therefore this policy area should be prioritised. Much more needs to be done with structures and surroundings which promote physical activity (V) and on building a transport infrastructure which promote active societies (I). National government taking action in good policy design in areas V and I is key to improving overall environments that enable physical activity.

Download a full analysis and breakdown of Northern Ireland’s results

This country snapshot presents detailed results of the MOVING policy index for Northern Ireland. Full index results are outlined in the MOVING policy brief (pdf), which compares Northern Ireland with other European countries and explains the methods for producing this snapshot and the index.

The index assesses if national government policy actions exist across all areas of the MOVING framework and, if so, how well designed they are. We produced this assessment by benchmarking policies from Northern Ireland, collected through a comprehensive scan. You can view all benchmarked policies in our MOVING database.

Overview of physical activity policy status in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland MOVING overview

NOURISHING country snapshots

We also have snapshots of nutrition policies in 30 European countries. Visit the Northern Ireland page or see all the country snapshots.

Get in touch

The policy landscape in any country evolves over time. These findings reflect our knowledge as of May 2023. To provide feedback or suggest updates, please get in touch.

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