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Sheffield Council has defended its position after a survey found more than half of adults fail to take part in the recommended levels of exercise.

The research, for a report by the Royal Institute of British Architects, found 64 per cent of people do not do 150 minutes of exercise a week - but said ‘safer street design’ should be considered an urban design and planning priority for local authorities.

Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “Sheffield is proud of being one of the greenest cities in Europe with a wide range of high quality parks and green space inside the city and wonderful countryside on our doorstep, especially the Peak District.

“This provides great opportunities for walking and recreation.

“In addition the Streets Ahead investment programme will upgrade our pavements and streetlights, helping to encourage walking for transportation.

“We are one of the highest- ranked cities in the Sport England Active People survey.

“Helping people in Sheffield to move more is a key priority for the city and I hope that this report will encourage people to reflect on their physical activity level and seek to increase it.”