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The survey found that 55 per cent of female respondents wanted to be more active, compared to only 47 per cent of males


DON’T ABANDON OLD MESSAGES Among HAFOS respondents, the main motivation for being active is – or would be – general improvement or maintenance of health, at 51 per cent. However, the two reasons quoted that relate to weight/body shape follow closely behind, both at 18 per cent (see Figure 3). The sector must not ignore the fact that weight loss/maintenance remains a key motivating factor.


Indeed, other research by Leisure-net suggests that weight loss/maintenance is in fact the main motivation for many existing gym users – this in spite of the fact that people tend to be reticent about admitting they’re concerned more with how they look than how they feel. The importance of the weight loss message is certainly not something the sector should be underestimating, either in its marketing or its retention strategies.


EXCUSES, EXCUSES…


But however highly people now claim to rate regular exercise/activity in principle, HAFOS revealed that reasons for not converting that into action remain a challenge. A perceived lack of time due


March 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


to work is still the number one barrier preventing people from being more active. This is followed by cost: although only 13 per cent of respondents named high costs as a barrier, when asked what would encourage them to use leisure centres/health clubs, lower prices were quoted by the most people, at 62 per cent (see Figures 4 & 5). Other factors that people said would encourage them to use leisure


FIGURE 3: Why would you like to undertake more activity/exercise? (Choose one main reason)


facilities included improved equipment and facilities (42 per cent), better programming (43 per cent), and access to more information (47 per cent). A quarter of respondents said they would like better childcare provision. While some of these elements would require investment in facilities – perhaps diffi cult in the current economic climate – areas such as programming and information could easily be addressed by a more


3% 3% 1% 5%


18%


■ To improve/maintain my health ■ To improve/maintain body tone/shape ■ To maintain/lose weight ■ To improve my self-esteem ■ To socialise/meet new friends ■ Other ■ For specifi c health reasons/issues


51%


18%


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