Research type 
Desk research
Year of report 

Summary of findings


Reflecting the material presented in the debrief, these findings cover the main stages of qualitative and quantitative research outlined in the method. (I.e. not the desk research, or the further qualitative research to explore interventions).


  • Positively, those not meeting 5 x 30 minute guidelines are more likely to engage in walking than any other activity
  • Females are more likely to walk for a purpose (or be interested in doing so)
  • Only 2% of those walking for a purpose are walking for 5 x 30 minutes a day and to a moderate intensity
  • Only 5% of those walking for leisure are walking for 5 x 30 minutes a day and to a moderate intensity
  • 63% of the sample state that they would like to walk more than they currently do. These are more likely to be aged 35-54 and these are the people that are most likely to say that they do not have enough time to exercise
  • One key issue will be educating people to do more, given there appears to be no/minimal perceived push/need to do exercise for many
  1. Given that they feel that they may be doing enough in their day to day life – (certain amount of over claiming?)
  2. They feel healthy ‘enough’
  3. They are prioritising other factors above health
  4. 'Exercise' is far removed from what they see themselves doing or bring able to do


  • There is a clear need to give them reasons and benefits to exercising
  • Educate as to what physical activity is defined as and the intensity that it should be done to
  1. Cost
  2. Flexible
  3. Location
  4. For the family
  • Try to alleviate key barriers to exercising – cost and time. Walking ideal for doing this – its FREE and can be integrated into everyday lives
  • In addition, promote and deliver free activities and promotions such as Passport For Leisure and MI card
  • Given the importance of family and priority of children’s health a key way in encouraging this audience to be more active should be via children and involving them in activities
  • Potential to use family as a tool in motivations for exercising (being around to see your children/grand children grow up)
  • Promote the positives of exercise e.g. the social side
  • Key to communicate safety and work with council to look into perception and worry of park security
  • Potential to develop or promote local community centre classes
  • Raise awareness of what activities and events are currently available
  • Promote walking festival as family activity, good for all ages and abilities and accessible in terms of cost and location
  • Provide flexibility in terms of times and variety of activities
  • Consider communication of terminology of ‘walking’, which is typically perceived to be for older people and more importantly more likely to be seen this way by people are inactive
  • Main motivation to stress via walking should be mental wellbeing
  • For females potential to use weight loss message to encourage walking – at the moment only associated with diet
  • Raise awareness of activities and events via supermarkets, local newspapers, schools and libraries
  • NB. Any messages should be communicated in friendly personal manner

Research objectives


In order to meet the business objectives outlined in the Background section (above), the specific research objectives were to:

  • Explore the target audience’s lifestyle, mindset and behaviour
  • Assess attitudes towards physical activity and walking in particular
  • Evaluate current physical activity habits and key influences on behaviour
  • Understand key motivators and barriers to people participating in physical activity, specifically walking
  • Critique current walking campaign material including Barnsley walking festival leaflets/ flyers to identify appeal and key takeouts from each
  • Identify appropriate messages that could be used to encourage and facilitate higher participation in physical activity/walking
  • Focus on four, high prevalence, Sport England market segmentation profiles: Kev; Paula; Brenda; Terry



NHS Barnsley wanted to develop a social marketing intervention that would ultimately increase levels of physical activity, specifically walking, undertaken by Barnsley residents.

A second aim was to support Fit for the Future and the annual walking festival and co-ordinator in promoting active, sustainable travel across the borough.

Quick summary


Research into the lifestyle, attitudes and behaviours of men and women in the Barnsley area who fit four Sport England Profiles (target audience) to support the development of a social marketing intervention aimed at increasing levels of activity, especially walking.

Audience Summary





Not specified



Qualitative research: 26-65 years

Quantitative research: 18-55+

Social Class


Qualitative research:

Not specified. However, the groups comprise:

  • Low skilled workers
  • Job seekers
  • Skilled manual workers
  • Reads Tabloid papers, and magazines such as Nuts, Bella, Best, OK!

Quantitative research:

  • ABC1: 41%
  • C2DE: 53%
  • 6% unaccounted for




Desk research to collate existing knowledge

Qualitative research:

  • 6x 1.5 hr creative discussion groups to explore attitudes to physical activity
  • 10x 1 hr depth interviews to understand / experience first-hand environmental barriers to physical activity

Quantitative research:

  • 213x 15 min CATI interviews to validate qualitative findings and provide benchmark to measure future changes in attitude or behaviour

Further qualitative research

  • 4x 1.5 hr discussion groups to explore the interventions developed

Data collection methodology

Depth interviews
Focus groups
Textual/documentary analysis

Sample size

  • 6x discussion groups (no. in each group not specified)
  • 213x CATI interviews
  • 4x further discussion groups (no. not specified)

Detailed region


Areas around Barnsley. Specifically, postcode areas: S35, S36, S63, S70, S71, S72, S73, S74, S75.

Fieldwork dates


w.c. 16th and 23rd March

Agree to publish



Research agency