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How London Sport and partners are using Facebook Ads to support 3,000 Londoners to be more active


In April 2018 we launched a digital behaviour change programme supported by Walking for Health and Make Sport Fun to support hundreds of less active people (doing less than 150 minutes of physical activity per week) to join free walking groups across London.

The pilot project set out to use Facebook advertising, text messages and email to support people to take the first steps to becoming more active by delivering a digital-led behaviour change journey.

Between June and October 2019 we delivered three advertising campaigns across 10 London Boroughs. From these campaigns we’ve had 2,799 older people (aged 55+) sign up to the digital programme in total and supported 360 of them to join a local walking group.

The biggest challenge for this pilot project was to see whether using Facebook advertising would enable us to reach and engage a less active audience. To measure this we asked those who signed up to complete Sport England‘s Short Active Lives Questionnaire, which would identify whether they were currently inactive, insufficiently active or active.

The initial results are encouraging:

  • 55% of people who signed up were classed as Inactive
  • 16% were classed as Insufficiently Active
  • 29% were already Active

So in total 71% of the people that signed up were not currently active.

When you compare this to the London average for this age group (55 – 74 year olds) it shows that this approach was successful in engaging a less active audience. 

Activity levelPeople who signed up via FacebookLondon average (55 - 74 year olds)
Inactive (<30 mins per week)55%28%
Insufficiently active (30 - 149 mins per week)16%18%
Active (>150 mins per week)29%58%

To find out more about how we targeted a less active audience and our interim findings, download the Digital Behaviour Change interim report here


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