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Couch to Fitness is a nine-week National Lottery funded home exercise plan for beginners, developed by Our Parks with backing from Sport England
Couch to Fitness is a nine-week National Lottery funded home exercise plan for beginners, developed by Our Parks with backing from Sport England

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Couch to Fitness reaches landmark 100,000 sign-ups

The surge in at-home physical activity during 2020 shows no sign of abating in the current national lockdown as the Couch to Fitness programme surpassed 100,000 users.

Approximately a quarter (25,000) of the users live in London, with Brent, Croydon, Waltham Forest, Hounslow, and Newham boroughs seeing the highest levels of sign-ups.

The programme, designed by Our Parks with support from Sport England and London Sport, successfully appealed to ethnically diverse communities with 46% of active users from this audience.

The landmark of 100,000 users is seen as a major success for London Sport and Sport England’s digital marketing campaigns which have promoted the programme throughout the past six months.

In the summer, a three-week Facebook advertising campaign run by London Sport reached more than 800,000 Londoners with almost 50,000 clicking through to the Couch to Fitness landing page.

An impressive 83% of people who signed up started the programme with 61% taking part in two or more sessions and the associated Facebook Group has also surpassed 5,000 members.

It’s hoped that Couch to Fitness will help arrest the drop in people’s activities levels seen during the first national lockdown in 2020 where there was a 7.1% fall in the number of active adults.

The programme received support from Better Health and This Girl Can with Sport England asking London Sport to complete a further national digital marketing campaign in November and December.

In those two months the campaign reached an additional 2.5m people nationwide with 140,000 clicks to the landing page and gained an additional 32,000 sign-ups from a series of Facebook adverts. 

Chris Norfield, Digital Marketing Lead for London Sport said:

“We’re delighted that the Couch to Fitness programme has resonated so successfully with target audiences which is, in no small part, down to the insight and input we got from the community.

“Early feedback informed us there was demand for a new at-home fitness programme designed for beginners, but that it needed to consider specific factors such as no jumping exercises that might be disruptive for people living in upstairs flats, and the need for shorter bitesize session options that can be streamed using less data.

“As such a programme didn’t exist, we worked with Our Parks to design one and, with support from a sustained digital marketing campaign, it’s clearly proving popular with less active adults.”

Our Parks founder Born Barikor said:

“This is a fantastic result for Couch to Fitness which is a completely new venture for Our Parks who, prior to covid-19, worked exclusively in the great outdoors.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Sport England and the National Lottery for funding this work which has helped us build a programme specifically for those groups who need it most.

“Activity can bring such joy and happiness to people and it’s brilliant to see the Couch to Fitness community continue to grow and offer such incredible support to fellow parkers.”

Kate Dale, Sport England, Head of Campaigns

"Thanks to National Lottery players who raise £30m every week for good causes in the UK, we’re able to support wonderful programmes like Couch to Fitness.

"Our mission is to make sure we remove the barriers that prevent people from being active. Some groups are typically less likely to be active, like those in lower socio-economic groups, women and girls, disabled people, people from Asian and Black backgrounds and people with long term health conditions – and sadly, this gap has widened during lockdown.

"Creating programmes that fit in today’s lifestyles and using popular digital channels to reach them is just one way to make sure we can reach the less active. This is something to shout about – 100k unique users now moving and feeling better for it."

Further information on London Sport’s digital marketing work alongside Sport England and Our Parks can be found here.

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Tanya Rabin

Tanya Rabin

Press contact Interim Communications Lead 0203 848 4630
Andrew Lawton

Andrew Lawton

Press contact Senior Communications Officer 020 3848 4630

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