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A woman takes part in a group dance class
A woman takes part in a group dance class

Blog post -

Shaping relevant and effective online solutions and campaigns after covid-19

Senior Insight Manager Daniel Stracey explains how our segmentation and qualitative covid-19 research has helped support the development of our online activity finder Get Active.

At the start of this month, I discussed Challenging perspective and inspiring fresh approaches using qualitative research, highlighting the need to be open and engage in better quality conversations with less active people.

This was, and is, particularly important when considering marginalised groups and to avoid making assumptions, that may be incorrect, about their needs.

So, what can we do to effectively engage groups of interest to shape new interventions? How might we develop instinct, empathy and better understanding for less active London more broadly?

Recently, we’ve been trying to answer those questions through the development of Get Active, our free online activity finder helping users to source relevant local exercise classes and opportunities.

To do this, and inspire fresh conversations and new thinking, we’ve used online qualitative research and London Sport’s Less Active Segmentation which helps us to improve targeting and consideration of the less active population.

Managed by the London Sport’s insight team, the less active segmentation served as a valuable framework to explore some of our initial hypotheses with regards to the impact of covid-19 on exercise efforts and broader lifestyles.

It also helped to shift our perspective to consider more specific and varying needs and challenges amongst our target users - diverse representatives of our want to but can’t less active segment, people with longer term physical and mental health conditions with an expressed interest in become more active.

Through speaking to diverse representatives our primary aims were:

- To explore opportunities for Get Active site and campaign development to shape a relevant engaging proposition, including revealing latent/unexpressed needs for support (e.g. potential activities and resources that could be featured on the site

- To reveal wider opportunities for online/tech-assisted support more broadly developing our understanding of the lockdown impact on exercise habits, attitudes and goal

To do this, we engaged a diverse sample of people in a variety of tasks to develop our understanding of the ‘want to but can’t’ segment, and to provide a comprehensive assessment of the Get Active website and proposed campaign. 

Eight tasks were deployed in sequence, on a daily basis during the course of a week including varied discussions, surveys, mark up assessments and projective tasks, elevating the role of the research participant to act as researcher. 

Having established a rapport with our participants, crucial for building relationships and achieving better quality insights, the research included a co-development task to shape the perfect/ideal exercise class, developing more than 30 different creative ideas.

These included exploring how to satisfy the drive for fantasy/escape and enhance the experience of home surroundings to refresh/revitalise attempts to exercise during lockdown.

Our sample of 17 participants have shared almost 700 responses in total, investing over 10,000 minutes engaging with the research sharing no less than 25 high quality fly on the wall/self-interview video clips.

Their experiences reveal the lived experience of covid-19 and allow us to further reflect on key recommendations for future online support delivered through Get Active.

I’m delighted that our less active segmentation, combined with online qualitative research, has proven to be such a highly effective means of achieving rich levels of feedback.

To hear more about the research and London Sport’s online qualitative research and consultation offer, drop the Consulting Services team an email at and we will shortly be in touch. 

Daniel's earlier blog on challenging perspectives and inspiring fresh approaches using qualitative research from the beginning of June is still available here.




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London Sport aims to ensure Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity

About London Sport

London Sport aims to ensure more Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.

For more information on London Sport, visit

London Sport Media Centre
House of Sport, 190 Great Dover Street,
SE1 4YB London