ONLY one in 13 adults in the Arun district go swimming once a week.
The lack of exercise has put the area at 137th out of 221 English local authority areas.
The statistics, which put the number of weekly swimmers at 7.34 per cent, have been published by Diabetes UK.
They compare poorly with the top Sussex area of Mid Sussex where 11 per cent of adults swim regularly to put the district in the top three nationally.
Diabetes UK has published the facts to launch its Swim 22 challenge from February 22 to May 22 aimed at encouraging participants to swim 22 miles, equal to the English Channel.
Jill Steaton, the charity’s south east regional manager, said: “We want these results to challenge everyone in the area to make a splash in their local pool.
“Swimming is a great way to keep physically active, which is really important for preventing type-two diabetes or helping to manage diabetes if you already have it.”
Details about Swim 22 can be found at www.diabetes.org.uk/swim22