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Guidance to help leisure facilities appeal more to women

New guidance from Sport England aims to help gym and leisure facilities become more welcoming to women and girls in a bid to narrow the gender activity gap. The latest Active Lives report shows men continue to be more regularly active than women, which is why the This Girl Can campaign partnered with ukactive to produce the guidance.

Developed over nine months and using extensive research and insight, it includes practical guidance and checklists to help improve the engagement, experience and confidence of women and girls using gyms and other leisure facilities.

Earlier this year, in partnership with This Girl Can, ukactive commissioned Savanta ComRes to conduct a survey of more than 1,000 women and girls. The results from this, as well as those from a series of focus groups carried out by the ukactive Research Institute, informed the development of the guidance.

They showed that 60% of respondents visited a fitness or leisure centre at least once a month in the past three years, but that 50% of women with experience of exercising in these settings in the past three years worry about being judged. Of those with a fear of judgement, more were concerned about being judged by other women (27%) than by men (22%).