National Fitness Day encourages the nation to celebrate the fun of physical activity across the UK and will take place on Wednesday 18th September this year.


National Fitness Day encourages the nation to celebrate the fun of physical activity across the UK and will take place on Wednesday 18th September this year.

2021: In 2021 National Fitness Day celebrated its 10th anniversary!

Our theme celebrated how ‘Fitness Unites Us’ and the nation responded with our most successful National Fitness Day to date – 22.6 million people being physically active on National Fitness Day!

Though the pandemic remained a concern we believe physical activity has the ability to unite and inspire individuals to take charge of their health. Therefore, operators and providers throughout the country offered free sessions to people of all abilities, children in schools across the country got involved in 10@10 and across social media people were sharing the fun and sometimes wacky ways they were getting involved.

2021 also saw us announce a new headline partner in TRX Training Club, who to celebrate the day were offering free access to its online platform to everyone on National Fitness Day allowing users to enjoy live workouts.

We are looking forward to National Fitness Day 2022 already… watch this space.

National Fitness Day in 2020 was set to the backdrop of the global pandemic – Coronavirus. The nation’s health had never been so compromised and this is why National Fitness Day was so important – we set out to inspire the nation to move. Being physically active is not only proven to improve our physical health, it also has an incredible effect on our mental health, our confidence, our social connections and helps us build better communities.

In 2020 we wanted to demonstrate the inclusive power physical activity can have by celebrating how ‘Fitness Unites Us’.

Wednesday 23rd September saw our most successful National Fitness Day to date as we were able to inspire over 19 million people to be physically active – we did this through encouraging providers from across the UK to offer the general public free opportunities to be active in their local community. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we encouraged activity providers to offer either activities in person socially distanced or virtually online.

Through the help of Bear Grylls the day brought the nation together to remind us why it’s good to move, highlighting the role that physical activity plays in helping us lead healthier, happier lives both physically and mentally. ukactive are committed to promoting physical activity to tackle public health in the face of the obesity crisis, the UK’s response to Covid-19 and social inequalities throughout the country.

Of course, National Fitness Day isn’t just about one day, it’s about committing to change your routine for a lifetime of benefits, which is why we want people to share what they love about fitness and being active throughout the year.

Use #Fitness2Me on social media – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. To show us what Fitness means to you and how it’s helping you unite with others!

Since it was created in 2010, National Fitness Day has grown to become the most important day in the fitness calendar. National Fitness Day is facilitated by ukactive and previously, the énergie Group, which is the largest and fastest- growing fitness franchise company in the UK, and which founded National Fitness Day back in 2011. Realising that this is an event that would benefit with participation from the whole sector, énergie graciously ‘gifted’ National Fitness Day to ukactive in 2014. We would like to publicly thank énergie for this and are proud to now be growing the event year on year.

National Fitness Day in 2019 saw over four million people get physically active as result of the day that inspires us to celebrate fitness, pull on our trainers and get moving.

National Fitness Day 2019 directly influenced over 4.19 million to be active on Wednesday 25th September, with people across the country embracing the fun of fitness.

Over a million more children (2.3 million) got moving on the day than any other year of the campaign, as schools and families across the UK took part in 10 minutes of activity at 10am, as part of the ‘10@10’ programme.

Figures also showed that individuals in Scotland were the most active in the UK, clocking up 87 minutes of physical activity on average on National Fitness Day, an additional 27 minutes on 2018. There was also a notable increase in active travel on National Fitness Day from 23% in 2018 to 26% in 2019. This is likely to have been due to the support of workplace partner AXA PPP healthcare’s #MyFlyingStart campaign, that encourages businesses and individuals to get active before the working day.

DDMIX Founder Dame Darcey Bussell, this year led The Royal Chelsea Pensioners alongside local school children through her incredibly inclusive dance-fitness class, with cameras from ITV’s Good Morning Britain in attendance – helping propel the media reach of the campaign up to over 52m.

National Fitness Day once again proved hugely popular across social media, with mentions on the day from the likes of Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, Rudimental’s Leon Locksmith, The NHS, Premier League, Superdrug and Olympic Legend – Jessica Ennis-Hill, taking the social reach to 37.2m.

Four million Britons got active as result of milestone National Fitness Day 2018

National Fitness Day 2018 directly influenced over 4.1m million to be active on Wednesday 26th September, with Britons across the country embracing the fun of fitness.

More than 1.25m children and young people got moving on the day, as schools across the UK led children in 10 minutes of activity at 10am, as part of the ‘10@10’ programme. This represented a major increase of more than 56% on the year before.

Figures also showed individuals in Scotland were the most active in the UK, clocking up a whopping 57 minutes of physical activity on average on National Fitness Day. Meanwhile, awareness of the campaign grew hugely across all of the home nations, as National Fitness Day fulfilled its aim to deliver positive impacts across the length and breadth of the nation.

The increased regional participation and recognition of National Fitness Day was spearheaded by the #Fitness2Me hero campaign, which saw 12 heroes selected to represent the 9 regions of England, alongside the nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and inspire their local communities into activity.

National Fitness Day 2018 got off to a flying start style with DDMIX Founder and Strictly Come Dancing Judge Dame Darcey Bussell, leading hundreds of members of the public in a mass dance-fitness class at the City of London’s Guildhall Courtyard in the heart of the capital, with cameras from BBC, ITV and Channel 5 in attendance – helping propel the media reach of the campaign up to over 66m.

The event also once again proved hugely popular across social media, with 8,000 mentions on the day, including posts from Arsenal FC, comic-book writer Stan Lee and Loose Women’s Andrea McLean taking reach to 64m.

The methodology for National Fitness Day 2018 was the first to fully quantify the number of people who were directly motivated into activity by National Fitness Day, arriving at a figure of 4.1m.

Over 58,000 people got active within the workplace – motivated by workplace partner AXA PPP healthcare’s ‘Flying Start’ campaign for employees to get active before work or at the office, with workplaces across the country signed up for official activity sessions on-the-day.

More than 5.1m Britons laced up their trainers and got active on 27th September as National Fitness Day 2017 made good on its pledge to ‘Move the Nation’.

For the seventh year, National Fitness Day got off to a flying start with Strictly Come Dancing Star Darcey Bussell CBE leading a mass workout event in Central London. Hundreds of fitness enthusiasts and school children flocked to Everyone Active Paddington Recreation Ground to join Darcey for a DDMIX dance fitness class which made waves on national TV and radio stations, helping to take the total media reach of the NFD 2017 campaign to 62 million.

As ever, National Fitness Day proved immensely popular on social media, attracting tweets from the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Anthony Joshua and Davina McCall, as well as thousands of members of the public. National Fitness Day was the number one trending topic on Twitter throughout September 27th and reached over 65 million users overall (up 33 per cent), with the help of the hugely successful #Fitness2Me campaign.

To better quantify the impact of National Fitness Day on physical activity participation levels, ukactive invested in an extensive research methodology to produce the 5.1 million participation figure – the most robust measurement to date. Employing the same methodology as high-profile national campaigns such as This Girl Can, ukactive commissioned polling from research specialist ComRes to calculate participation levels, allied with real-time figures from the DataHub, website sign-ups and additional reporting.

Gym operators and physical activity providers across the UK once again played a central role in the day, flinging open their doors to offer the public a range of free taster sessions and gym passes. This forms a rare and invaluable opportunity for all sections of society to embrace the fun of fitness and for gyms to showcase the great activities they have on offer.

National Fitness Day 2017 was the most wide-ranging ever, with diverse elements taking place across the country. Alongside the numerous activities being provided in schools and fitness facilities across the UK, partners AXA PPP healthcare and Argos took National Fitness Day into workplaces and high streets respectively.

AXA PPP healthcare worked with its corporate partners to encourage employees to kick-start their working day with an early morning workout or active commute as part of a campaign called ‘Flying Start’.  Meanwhile, Argos took physical activity to the high-streets once again, through a range of activities at the retailer’s stores.

Alongside this, UK-based music licensing company, PPL, sponsored the first Official National Fitness Day Playlist. The playlist, which contained a selection of motivational tracks from PPL’s fitness sector music reporting data, is set to get Britons up and moving across the country.

National Fitness Day 2016 was held on Wednesday 7th September, and saw us welcome on board leading retailer Argos as the headline partner. The new partnership with Argos provided a platform to reach new audiences through their 30,000+ employees and their presence online and on high-streets up and down the country.

“Partnering with a nationally recognised brand such as Argos is a fantastic opportunity to provide a platform to take up exercise for an unprecedented number of people across the UK”

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Chair of ukactive

On the day, 18,000 events took place across almost 6,000 venues – getting more than one million people across the UK to be physically active and celebrate the fun of fitness. Clubs, parks, leisure centres, gyms, and schools participated in delivering fun and innovative ways to get active and promote the benefits of physical activity across the country.

The sixth annual event coincided with the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and kicked off with a breakfast event at Mandeville Place on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. By the time the event kicked off, #NationalFitnessDay was the number one trending item on Twitter in the UK.

The launch of National Fitness Day in 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was hosted by legendary ballerina and BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Judge Darcey Bussell CBE. Darcey led locals and Argos store staff in a session of her new aerobic fitness class – DDMIX. The event also saw activities take place with the iconic backdrop of the Olympic Stadium from the London 2012 Games. There were Bootcamp sessions, fitness Hula-Hoop classes, Pilates tasters, and in honour of the Paralympic Games beginning in Rio we had Boccia and Sitting Volleyball activities for people to take part in.

Overall, National Fitness Day 2016 more than doubled the number of sites delivering events, as well as taking ukactive members to their Argos stores to deliver activities to staff and customers. Whist we worked with Argos to activate National Fitness Day across their Head Office we saw wider stakeholders use the day as a platform to get staff active.

2016 saw a huge range of activity options enjoyed by participants of all ages – such as ‘plank offs’, yoga and Pilates classes, treadmill challenges, high-street HIIT classes, dance-offs, mass walks, and many more.

National Fitness Day 2016 was by far the biggest to date in terms of reach, events and media coverage.

National Fitness Day in 2015 took place on Wednesday 9th September – stepping up a gear across the UK.

The country was given free access to events in participating gyms, health clubs, leisure centres, and parks throughout the UK as part of National Fitness Day – the country’s largest celebration of health and fitness – making it the most active day of the year.

With thousands of free events on offer, the aim was to inspire people to get moving while making it easy and fun to try something new – with free classes and taster sessions on offer at local health and fitness venues.

National Fitness Day 2015 built upon the success of 2014, where 2,000 venues opened their doors to run free exercise sessions.

Our estimated reach for 2015 was an aggregate of almost 53million people, maximising our Thunderclap to almost double the requested supporter limit, trending for 2 days (traction across the US), and the #hashtag used by numerous brands, sports enthusiasts and influencers – all fantastic highlights of National Fitness Day in 2015!

National Fitness Day in 2014 was in partnership with Sanofi and alongside them we challenged operators to deliver ‘Power Half-Hours’.

The challenge was to put on the biggest and most exciting Power Half Hour they could, while championing innovation, fun, and creativity.

We ran an event to kick-start the day in London’s Covent Garden where the likes of Les Mills delivered some of their exercise to music classes.