National Fitness Day encourages the nation to celebrate the fun of fitness and physical activity across the UK and will take place on 2020 Wednesday 23rd September.


National Fitness Day encourages the nation to celebrate the fun of fitness and physical activity across the UK and will take place on 2020 Wednesday 23rd September.

National Fitness Day is the most active day of the year, when people of all ages and backgrounds come together to celebrate the fun of fitness.

On Wednesday 25th September 2019 thousands of events will be held across the UK, offering people the opportunity to try new activities.

National Fitness Day brings the nation together to remind us why it’s so good to move, highlighting the role that physical activity plays in helping us lead healthier, happier lives.

Why is this important? Physical inactivity has been listed as a leading cause of preventable diseases and conditions such as type-2 diabetes, some cancers and osteoporosis.

In the UK, we are facing a physical inactivity crisis, with evidence from ukactive showing that the average adult spends more time on the toilet every week than exercising and eight times longer watching on-demand TV than exercising.

And a study by the World Health Organisation last year revealed that the UK is ranked 123rd out of 168 nations for physical inactivity.

That’s why National Fitness Day is so important – to spark a national conversation about all of the benefits of physical activity, both to the individual and to society as a whole.

Because being more active is not only proven to improve our physical health, it also has an incredible effect on our mental health, our confidence and development, our social connections and our communities.

Held annually during the European Week of Sport, last year National Fitness Day got more than four million people active on the day, from school classes to workplaces, across every region of the UK.

In 2019, thousands of clubs, parks, leisure centres and gyms will open their doors to welcome everyone to get active. Across the UK, schools and communities will also get involved by running their own events and activities to get the nation moving.

And our official workplace partner, AXA PPP healthcare, is calling on employers up and down the country to help employees get the day off to a Flying Start to encourage them to kick start a new fitness habit, or build on a current one. Because being physically active is good for our physical and our mental health, and it’s good for business.

Of course, National Fitness Day isn’t really just about one day, it’s about committing to change your routine for a lifetime of benefits, which is why we want you to share what you love about fitness throughout the year, using #Fitness2Me on social media – through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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.