Did you know that in answer to the statement 'when I leave school I want to continue doing sport and exercise', 37% of girls disagreed compared with 25% of boys.

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Sweat in the City

Run by WSFF in partnership with the Fitness Industry Association (FIA), Sweat in the City is an innovative research project designed to win a better understanding of how to motivate women to become more active and feel fitter, happier and healthier.

Jessica Taylor photo

Jessica Taylor launches Sweat in the City with two of the scheme's participants.

Carly Zucker photo

Sweat in the City ambassador Carly Zucker offered her top five exercise tips to encourage participants to stay active.


With the support of the scheme's celebrity ambassadors Jessica Taylor and Carly Zucker, over 2000 16 – 24 year old women who lived in London were successfully recruited to take part. Each woman was given a unique package of a three month free and mentored gym membership at sites across the city (during October – December 2008).

Participants could share their highs and lows and aches and adrenaline rushes with each other at www.sweatinthecity.co.uk by networking with each other and blogging their progress. Women were also able to contact the scheme's mentor and access an array of health and fitness advice.

For WSFF, the site meant it could speak directly to the young women, track their progress and help maintain their motivation levels.

As well as their on-going feedback via blogs, at the start and finish of the programme participants were required to respond to a number of questions to track any change in attitude concerning physical activity. Sweat in the City findings will be published in the first half of 2009, and used by WSFF to inform its ongoing work aimed at creating a nation of active women. Initial feedback from some of the participants indicate a positive impact...

'I don't believe that I would ever feel like this just about exercise, but I am truly loving it! Maybe not so much when I am struggling on the running machine to put one foot in front of the other, but afterwards. My skin is improving, I'm sleeping better at night and feel more awake in the day!'
Participant, Fitness First Streatham
'The thing is I really enjoy the gym, that's something I never thought I would say. I get a kick out of it and I'm finding it REALLY addictive. When I'm not there I'm thinking about being there and trying to plan how I'm going to fit it in to each day.'
Participant, Downham Health and Leisure Centre
'I have found out that exercise can be enjoyable. The endorphin rush after a workout is really worth it.'
Participant, The Malden Centre

To help maintain the participants' enthusiasm and provide them with the opportunity to try new types of physical activity they are currently being offered the chance to try a range of sport taster sessions including, fencing, rowing, tennis coaching, bowling, boxing and aerobics classes.

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