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consumer
research
CONSUMER
PERSPECTIVE
This year’s HAFOS survey provides an insight into consumer attitudes
regarding health and fi tness. Mike Hill, MD of Leisure-net Solutions, gives
an overview of the fi ndings and their implications for our industry
he seventh annual Change4life must have a real call to action know what they should aspire to, can
T
HAFOS Survey was if they are to result in lifestyle changes. they be truly motivated to reach
based on a national towards a target?
sample of more than awareness of guidelines
2,400 people interviewed Only a third of respondents (33 per cent) barriers to activity
at 10 locations across England and understood that fi ve sessions of activity a Time remains the main reason given by
Scotland. The sample was selected week is the government’s recommendation respondents to explain why they are
to be representative of the national for health benefi ts. This has increased 6 prevented from undertaking more physical
population, with the results as follows: per cent since 2007, but compares activity/exercise (29 per cent). Direct costs
unfavourably to people’s understanding of (16 per cent) and lack of personal
good intentions the recommendations for alcohol motivation and goals (13 per cent) were
Most people (91 per cent) believe that consumption (87 per cent of respondents cited as the next two most important
physical activity/exercise is important to were aware of these) and fruit and factors (see Figure 1).
their health – a fi gure that has remained vegetable intake (79 per cent). Over the years, however, people seem
consistently high over the last three to four The activity sector lacks the big to be becoming more aware that lack
years. However, in line with previous backers – supermarkets and food of time is a perception rather than a
HAFOS surveys, fewer than half (46 per manufacturers – that have got behind reality for most of them. The percentage
cent) say they exercise/undertake activity the Five-a-Day message, while of adults quoting this issue as the main
as much as they would like, and activity government has put more time and direct barrier has reduced and the other
levels remain low. effort behind reducing alcohol reasons quoted – such as direct costs and
More than ever the sector, working consumption than increasing activity lack of motivation/goals – have increased.
hand in hand with government and health levels. The desirability of headlining the However the perception of a time
agencies, needs to fi nd innovative ways ‘5 x 30’ message (30 minutes’ moderate defi cit is still a very real barrier in many
of turning recognition of importance, exercise fi ve times a week) has been people’s minds, and the industry needs
combined with a real desire to do questioned recently lest it seem to continue to come up with imaginative
something, into action. Campaigns such as unachievable – but, if people don’t ways of helping people to incorporate
Figure 2. WILL 2012 ENCOURAGE
YOU TO BE MORE ACTIVE OR
CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE?
2006
45%
15%
40%
2008
OCK.COM
.IST
10%
25%

WWW
65%
ALL PICTURES:
The public is far more aware of the Five-a-Day fruit and vegetable
message than the ‘5 x 30 minutes’ exercise recommendation Yes No Unsure
62 Read Health Club Management online january 2009 © cybertrek 2009
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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