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Bedford’s inductions involved
designing programmes that
were specifi c to the member
appointments and the inclusion of
behaviour change strategies such as
Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura 1977)
had been effective at increasing physical
activity. However, none of this research
had been conducted with gym goers, and
this is what my study set out to do.
A suitable venue to carry out this
research was identifi ed in London’s
Central YMCA club and, over a fi ve-
month period, 475 new members were
recruited into the study.
Existing fi tness staff, responsible for
inducting new members, were trained
in delivering the intervention that I
devised. This was primarily based on the
principles of Social Cognitive Theory,
which is governed by three key factors –
behavioural, personal and environmental
– and states that all three will interact to
create a change, and that a change in one
will have an effect on the other two.
Taking into account the existing
literature, our induction consisted of
RETENTION RATE BY TREATMENT RECEIVED
four sessions which reduced in length
from 60 to 30 to 20 to 10 minutes. The
1
0
0
60-minute standard
fi rst was a standard gym induction, while
PICTURE
9
0
induction + 60
sessions two, three and four included
S
minutes’ support
behaviour change principles – such as
8
0
ABO
E
R
identifi cation of motivating factors for
B
7
0 VE:
E
M
participation, clarifi cation of barriers

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to exercise, evaluation of outcome and I
L
L M
6
0
T 60-minute
.IST
process goals – as well as time to recap
E S 5
0
standard
OCK.COM/ARNE
on exercise equipment.
G
T
A
The four appointments were designed
4
0
induction
E
N
to be delivered independently over a
C
R 3
0
four-week period. This meant different
P
E
fi tness staff could conduct the sessions,
2
0 TRA
UTMANN
and allowed the new member to meet a 1
0
number of staff during the initial weeks
0
of membership – important in creating 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
a sense of belonging and to ensure, with MONTHS SINCE JOINING
instructors working shifts, new members no intervention intervention
always knew someone in the club.
Sessions also included an opportunity – still a standard procedure across the practise while supervised. At no point
for the member to demonstrate how industry – or the intervention group. should new members be shown what
they had progressed between sessions. not to do – all demonstrations should
Dr Hillsdon and I had agreed that changing behaviour be about correct technique. Positive
a randomised controlled trial would A key element of behaviour change is language should also be used to reinforce
be the best way to test the effect of self-effi cacy – a person’s belief in their the achievements of the member.
the intervention. New members were ability to be successful. When exercises Our exercise programme design was
therefore randomly assigned into either are introduced, it is vital that they also tailored to meet the individual needs
a control group, who received the club’s are demonstrated correctly, with the of the member, with an emphasis on
standard, one-off 60-minute induction member then given an opportunity to simplicity and low intensity in both CV
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