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Media captionWales has seen a "clear and significant" jump in the number of people taking part in sport

The number of adults regularly taking part in sport or physical activity are at their highest levels, according to a survey.

Sport Wales says there has been a 34% jump between 2008 and 2012.

Swimming, running and cycling has seen noticeable increases while figures have also risen for football and golf.

The Active Adults survey found 262,000 more people aged from 15 to over 65 do some form of sport or activity three or more times a week than in 2008.

The key issue now, of course, is how we improve furtherProf Laura McAllister, Chairman of Sport Wales

"This is a stark contrast to what we're seeing elsewhere in the UK and marks a significant upturn in what has been a very static set of figures historically," said Sport Wales chief executive Sarah Powell.

She added that the data shows there is a "clear and significant" link between sport and improved health which Sport Wales said could lead a £53m saving each year to the NHS in Wales.


Another study in October which revealed almost 50% more children are taking part in sport and physical activity regularly than two years earlier.

The School Sport Survey also suggested boys were still more likely than girls to regularly join in sport.

Sport Wales chairman, Prof Laura McAllister said: "The increase in adult sports participation is the latest in a series of positives for sport in Wales, following the news from our School Sport Survey that more children are hooked on sport than ever before.

"The key issue now of course is how we improve further."

Culture and Sport Minister John Griffiths welcomed the survey.

"Being involved in sport can bring so many benefits, from making new friends and learning new skills to improving physical and mental health and fitness, so I am delighted that so many more adults are experiencing these advantages," said Mr Griffiths.

"There is still some way to go until we bridge the gaps in the levels of participation between men and women and socio-economic groups but the increase across the age ranges is a significant step in the right direction."

Sport2008 participation2012 participation
Running, jogging or other athletic disciplines6.9%13.4%
Cycling or mountain biking7.5%10.3%