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Two women take part in a yoga session
Two women take part in a yoga session

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Couch to Fitness campaign working alongside ​This Girl Can shows influence of peer-to-peer support

A supplementary Couch to Fitness digital marketing campaign working alongside Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign to target women from lower socio-economic groups has shown the importance of peer-to-peer support.

In less than three weeks between 16 September to 2 October, more than 2,000 people joined a Couch to Fitness Facebook group which saw 320 posts made by members, of which 98% were female and 80% aged between 35 and 64.

Couch to Fitness is a nine-week National Lottery funded home exercise plan for beginners, developed by Our Parks with backing from Sport England, to help people who need extra support and motivation to increase their physical activity levels.

The Facebook group successfully created an opportunity for people on the programme to connect with others, share their experiences, questions and successes, and do more activity.

Prior to launching the campaign, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England’s £20m Tackling Inequalities Fund, London Sport sought feedback from women in the target group about being active during the lockdown and found two main concerns.

Our target audience were worried about the amount of data required to stream online sessions and the ability to fit exercise into their busy daily schedule and responsibilities.

In response, London Sport worked with Our Parks and the This Girl Can team at Sport England to develop bitesize (5 minutes) workouts and set up a Facebook group to make it easier for women starting the programme to connect with other users.

The Couch to Fitness campaign reached more than 450,000 Londoners with our Facebook adverts receiving close to 10,000 clicks. More than 2,000 women joined the Facebook group with 1,295 signing up to the Couch to Fitness programme from the social media adverts.

Chris Norfield, Digital Marketing Lead for London Sport said:

“This study shows, once again, that Facebook groups can be a really powerful way to connect communities around a common purpose – in this case increasing their levels of activity.

“We’ve seen some moving examples of people supporting each other as they take part in the Couch To Fitness programme and along their journey to being more active.

“Such groups can be a really useful tool to support people to be active, particularly during these times where face-to-face contact is restricted due to the covid-19 pandemic.”

This Girl Can’s Campaign Lead Kate Dale said:

“Getting and keeping women active during the pandemic has been a priority for This Girl Can and why we’re so pleased to have worked with Our Parks on the development of the bite-size videos as part of the Couch to Fitness programme.

“The crisis has caused disruption to so many lives and the campaign to help women across London find a workout suitable for them by London Sport has also meant so many have found a new, supportive community to be a part of, just when some of them needed it the most.

“I am excited to explore how Couch to Fitness can reach even more women and help get them more physically active.”

Our Parks founder Born Barikor said:

“The bitesize version of Couch to Fitness was a very successful off-shoot of the original Couch to Fitness programme, addressing Parker concerns and making the programme even more accessible.

“The Facebook group has become an integral part in helping communities come together and share their successes from the programme.

“It has become a place where Parkers can offer support to each other and week on week, we can see this community of Parkers growing as more people take part.”

Learn more about our work with Our Parks and Sport England on developing the Couch to Fitness programme here with more details on our digital marketing to target ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups here.

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London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world.

About London Sport

London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world. 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 www.londonsport.org

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