Inactivity is infecting the nation to the disastrous detriment of our health and economy. Since 2012 we’ve been blessed with the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics Games that were quickly followed by the Commonwealth showpiece, yet the epidemic of inactivity is ingrained in society.
According to Sport England 57.4% of adults are considered inactive in sport – this means they did not take part in sport in the past month but might this month or the next (25.2m people).
This week the first cross-sector Elevate event brought together the physical activity industry, academia, healthcare, government and performance leaders to debate an increasingly significant and tricky societal challenge: tackling physical inactivity.
In order to reverse the trend it will take all parties to pull together which includes businesses, charities, town planners, national and local politicians. From the business perspective MyLocalPitch is doing its part by utilising technology to make sport more accessible for everyone.
Before technology can play its part in driving sports and activity participation numbers the public must understand the benefits of putting a stop to a sedentary existence. The youth, parents and community role models need to be on the same page when delivering and communicating their message about physical and mental benefits.
Once this foundation is in place then creative ideas about how to increase activity can flourish. The goal for MLP is boosting sports participation by making it easier for people to ﬁnd their local venue, simplify the booking process and then play sport.
Disruptive innovation in the search and booking process is already having a positive impact on the number of people engaging in sports or activities. Working with a third party platform like MyLocalPitch means enquiries are managed with ease and data is collated making storing records simple. Knowing how much sport the public is playing and how regularly helps understand trends and where best to tackle falling levels of activity.
In November 2015 the MyLocalPitch app launched to enable people to search and book activities while on-the-move. Simplicity and convenience has helped drive bookings in the hotel, taxi and restaurant industries and the grassroots space is set to enjoy the same impact.
Being able to find a cab or order a takeaway is great, but there are no direct health benefits to the consumer and that’s where there is such potential for the grassroots sports landscape. Making it simpler to build a healthy habit is the target. Once people get back into sport then it’s key they remain active which is where technology comes into its own. An example of this can be found in bespoke account pages which store all your previous bookings and favoured venues to make re-booking a breeze.
Adopting technology in the way people search and book activities will vastly increase people enjoying sport. MyLocalPitch’s search and booking platform will encourage people to act and then keep up their active lifestyles.
An active nation will see the benefits in physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, personal development, community spirit and economic growth.
BY - Will Chrimes
6 May 2016