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women and girls

ukactive and This Girl Can launch practical guide for gyms and leisure centres to support more women and girls to be active

November 23, 2021

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ukactive and Sport England published a practical guide to help gyms and leisure centres with tangible solutions to get more women and girls active in those facilities. On the 10th of November, the guide, entitled ‘How to improve your services for women and girls: As told by the 51%’, was published with the aim of improving the sectors’ membership by more than 5 million people by the end of the decade.

The report comes as in September a survey of 2000 women and girls by Sport England and Savanta Com Res found that 57% of women wanted to do more physical activity. In comparison, only 44% of men had the same inclination. Women and girls had cited major barriers to increasing their physical activity levels despite a pointed inclination.

To support the development of the new guide, ukactive and This Girl Can conducted a bespoke survey of 1,030 women and girls over 16, alongside a series of focus groups. Their findings revealed:

  • More women say they are worried about being judged by other women (27%) than by men (22%)
  • 45% of women say a member of staff showing them how to perform exercises/activities and use equipment would encourage them to participate
  • 13% of women say they worry about the risk or threat of sexual harassment, intimidation, or embarrassment in this setting
  • 32% of respondents who have attended a fitness and leisure centre in the past three years citing it is too expensive


Welcomed by leading fitness operators, the guide includes practical guidance and checklists to help improve the engagement, experience, and confidence of women and girls using gyms and leisure facilities.

You can find more information about the guide here.

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