Why swimming is such an attractive sport for participants in the UK

Back in 2016 statistics found that swimming was the most popular sport in the UK for people actually participating in sport.

It was found that on average just shy of 2500 people were physically engaging with the sport on a weekly basis. Often in the UK it is quite often perceived that the more ‘headline’ sports such as football are the most popular.

If you were to look at online attention it may well provide evidence that football is something that people find more popular. However, being realistic without people physically interacting with the sport, it wouldn’t exist.

What is the swimming appeal?

Health fact

Swimming is one of the more beneficial sports to take up if you looking to get involved with exercise for health reasons.

It is a sport that can help improve your heart and lung capacity. Similar to other aerobic sports such as running, this is a sport which can go a long way in improving your cardiovascular fitness along with cholesterol levels, depending on whether it’s at a brisk pace or not.

Something interesting to know about swimming is the fact that the resistance supplied by the water helps build muscle. This then benefits your blood sugar control.

What has been found from swimming is that although you burn plenty of calories, it is not an activity that would guarantee you the same weight loss that could be provided by a constant activity of perhaps cycling or even running. It does though, test your body and can help reduce body fat as well as waist circumference. For toning major muscles, swimming is one of the best sports available.

In the past it has been found that swimming can also be beneficial for people suffering with back pain and arthritis. It has been suggested that exercising in warm water can increase flexibility and go some way to soothing stiffness.


The idea of swimming can often be considered for an enjoyable activity to participate in for fun. There’s different types of swimming methods that can be enjoyed without pressure. Sometimes, it can be forgotten that there are technique’s which can be learnt. With anything, if it becomes repetitive it can become slightly boring perhaps but if there are different challenges to take up the enjoyment level can rise, that is why learning the different techniques could add to the appeal factor.

School impact

Most schools tend to ensure students have the opportunity to learn how to swim from a young age.

The reason that can be considered important is because if you are instilled with something from young, it can help with the motivation to continue as you grow older. Once you develop a hobby or an interest it can be infectious almost, a passion.

If schools never presented pupils with the opportunity to swim, would there be the same uptake in number of people participating within the sport?

No age limits

Anyone can get involved with swimming, there are no restrictions in fairness. Of course, people have different ambitions when they take up the sport. It can become a career, so in that case some people may be more frequent in swimming, but it is a sport for all ages, all abilities.

Nobody is excluded from the sport where as if you think to a sport like say football, it would be hard for older people to physically maintain the correct levels to play at a good standard. Where as with swimming, unless you’re competing which is of course an option, it is less demanding. There is less pressure, you can work at your own level for your own benefit.

Career prospects

Some careers quite obviously require that you know how to swim. For instance, if you wanted to be a fire fighter or even a life guard. It is an important skill to learn.

By James Miller


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