In April, Sport England and creative agency FCB Inferno launched a national campaign to inspire people to stay active at home during the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak, inviting the public to share their own experiences and join the movement online using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut. This week sees the release of a film showcasing some of the most imaginative at home exercises the campaign has inspired.
Backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and funded by The National Lottery, the 30 and 60-second films can be seen on TV, social, and digital, and are aimed at a broad, national audience of men and women of all ages. They are accompanied by web content supporting people who want to get active with their children and the over 70s, as well as a 30 and 60-second radio ad voiced by Mel Giedroyc of English comedy duo Mel and Sue.
The campaign aims to inspire more people to get active in the wake of new Sport England research which has revealed that 38% of adults in England have done less physical activity or exercise in the past week compared to a typical week before the restrictions, even though 66% say they have more time to be physically active and 63% saying it’s more important to be active in the current climate.
Older people, people on a low income, women, people who are self-isolating because they are at increased risk due to their age or health condition, those living alone and those living in urban areas are reporting that they are exercising less than before the lockdown. There are also concerns that young people’s activity levels will decline further, as other research shows that activity levels of 16-34-year olds were on the decline prior to the pandemic
The campaign hashtag has been mentioned nearly 13,000 times since the campaign went live at the end of March and is estimated to have reached almost 150 million users on Twitter alone. Many of these users have been sharing their tips for staying active, including family dance routines, indoor skateboarding, and martial arts, among many others.
The film shows some of the ingenious user-generated content the campaign has inspired. It harnesses the optimism and resilience of the public during these uncertain times and acts as a celebration of the creative, varied and unexpected ways people are getting active up and down the country.
The cast are as diverse and interesting as the indoor exercises they’ve created, featuring a mix of everyday people across the UK alongside the likes of Paralympian Lucy Shuker and the father of Olympic Dame Kelly Holmes. Among the cast are Rajindar Singh, a 73 year old from Berkshire dubbed the ‘Skipping Sikh’ due to his sharing his daily workouts on social media, 6-year-old Olive Newman, a Cornish girl who skates on a mini-ramp in her home, and Milly Pickles, a lifestyle blogger and amputee who can be seen giving a handstand a go while in quarantine.
Also featured are people finding creative ways to be active outdoors while safely social distancing, including neighbourhood classes being led from doorsteps and dance parties happening at over 2m apart in the street. Other contributors include several frontline health works from the NHS who can be seen dancing with colleagues during a break.
The film is set to Fatboy Slim’s iconic ‘Rockafeller Skank’. Fatboy Slim has also been working tirelessly to unite the nation, from hosting Friday tea-time mixtapes to keep the nation dancing, to assisting ten year old daughter Nelly’s live stream of her 50-minute debut DJ set over the Easter weekend, and even organising a free celebratory concert on Brighton Beach for frontline workers at the end of lockdown.
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s CEO, said:
“Keeping active has never been more important when you consider the profound benefits it can have for our mental health and physical well being. We’ve launched this advert today to celebrate all the diverse ways the public have been keeping active, whether at home with their family or alone and help people feel connected through a shared joy of moving.
“We are now in the second phase of lockdown and we want people to continue to feel inspired so that fatigue doesn’t set in, much like we see after January. People’s relationship with activity has had to change as gyms and sports clubs are closed, and we’re staying at home more. We’re aiming to show that it is possible to stay active, and even gain new habits, no matter your age or background. We’d encourage people to Join the Movement, share their own content using #StayInWorkOut and check out the website for free workout tips.”
Sharon Jiggins, EVP at FCB Inferno said:
“As the country’s lockdown continues, it’s been incredible to see the public response to the campaign. Exercise is important for both physical and mental wellbeing, and this film celebrates the ingenious and sometimes unusual ways of staying active. Over the years, our work for Sport England has been recognised for its focus on casting real people and, our hope is that our #StayInWorkOut heroes will inspire many others to get moving.”
 Savanta ComRes research for Sport England 17th April to 20th April 2020.
 ii Sport England’s Active Lives survey Nov 18/19