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Demographic knowledge

What motivates one group to be active might be a barrier to another. That’s why we conduct research into how different people get active and what prevents them from doing so.

We’re all different

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Understanding why we are or aren’t active 

Data from our Active Lives surveys, together with other commissioned and collected research, has allowed us to put together stats and understanding into what affects and impacts activity levels for specific population groups. 

In addition, we've split our data into different settings, scenarios and groups to give you further understanding of the complexities involved in trying to help people to take part.

Target groups

We've taken our groundbreaking and in-depth research and split it into a number of different demographics to help you understand why some people are less active.

Click on any of the groups below to discover the reasons behind their activity levels.

Activities

Click on any of the below sections to find out what we know about participation, engagement and activity levels across a variety of settings and scenarios. 

Do major events increase participation? How do you recruit more volunteers to your local club? What impact does getting active outdoors have? We’ll tell you what we know.

The workforce

The workforce - which includes volunteers and coaches - play a big role in ensuring those taking part have the best possible experience.

Click below to read what the research tells us about how we can best support the people who help make sport and activity happen.

Research guide

Putting the customer at the heart of what we do is a key part of our strategy. 

Working with research agency 2CV, we’ve produced a guide to help you create high quality research that allows you to understand the customers you're trying to reach. 

Long-held assumptions can stop the sport and physical activity sector engaging with people outside of our traditional strongholds. And that means we can’t appeal to new audiences – people who are so important to the success of our Towards an Active Nation strategy.  

Insight is only as good as the research that underpins it – so this guide is designed to help you carry out top-quality research that has a big impact on your organisational goals.

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Quality of our research

We are scrupulous about the accuracy of all the research we commission. 

Our surveys are contracted out to experienced market researchers with, for example, Ipsos Mori currently handling the Active Lives Surveys – we also work closely with specialist research bodies and academies.

Official statistics

As an organisation we collect two types of ‘official statistics’, as defined by the Statistics and Registration Act, 2007. 

Our Active Lives surveys measure participation, sports spectating and volunteering, while we also produce figures on the number of statutory planning applications that affect playing fields. 

The 2007 Act emphasises the importance of official statistics to society and seeks to improve public trust in government statistics. 

We are required to comply with the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice, which governs the production and publication of official statistics, as they need to be carefully managed to ensure fairness and transparency. 

Scheduled release dates are outlined in our research calendar.

Evaluation

We've designed an Evaluation Framework to help partners evaluate funding streams and projects effectively, and to get maximum value from measurement and evaluation.

Evaluation Framework website

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