Swim England

A nation swimming

Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report

In 2017 Swim England commissioned major new research into the health benefits of swimming. The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report is an independent study that fully explores the impact of swimming on physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Key findings from the report

  • The report highlights the enormous potential swimming and aquatic activity has to support the health of the population due to its popularity and accessibility across the lifetime.
  • The unique properties of water make swimming perfect for people of all ages to exercise, particularly those with injuries, impairments, long term health conditions, or those who struggle to exercise on land.
  • The report found evidence that swimmers live longer, that regular swimming helps older people stay mentally and physically fit, and participation in swimming lessons can help children to develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker.
  • Swimming has a positive impact on a range of physical and mental health conditions including obesity, cancer, cerebral palsy, and pulmonary disease.
  • There is increasing evidence that swimming is a cost-effective activity that will help to save the National Health Service money.
  • Aquatic activity not only helps develop aerobic fitness, but is also good for the development of strength and balance which are key components of the CMO guidelines for health.
  • There is emerging evidence on the contribution of swimming to support the healthy development of children, and how this can contribute to their physical, mental and social skills.

Report Downloads

  • Click here to download the full Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report in PDF.
  • Click here to download the Executive Summary

Using the evidence

Swim England has produced a response document detailing how it will use the evidence to support current programmes such as Dementia Friendly Swimming, and develop a Health and Wellbeing Model for swimming and the wider sport sector.

Download the Response Document

  • Click here to download the Swim England Response document to the report in PDF. For more information about Swim England’s work email health@swimming.org.

Communicating the benefits

To accompany the Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming report, a set of infographics were created to clearly show the benefits of swimming. Click the gallery below to view and share.