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Using Activity Alliance Ten Principles to encourage activity at home

There are many ways we can all enjoy being active in and around home. Our Ten Principles are widely acknowledged by sport and leisure providers. Developed in 2014 out of our Talk to Me research, their influence lies in the adaptability for all audiences in all settings. Here, we look at how providers can use the Ten Principles to encourage home activity.

EFDS106 Me Being Active Shona 1

Activity Alliance’s Ten Principles support providers to deliver more appealing and accessible opportunities for disabled people in conventional sport settings. Here, we look at each principle and the consider how organisations can use them to encourage people with impairments and health conditions to be active in and around their homes.  

1. My channels

Use a mix of trusted communication channels. This can include social media, local radio stations and direct mail. Understandably, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak the focus has been on digital communications. But remember not everyone can be or wants to be online.

There are barriers to digital communications to consider, like accessibility and age restrictions. Some audiences are less likely to have suitable devices or enough data to stream online activity sessions.  

Other ways to reach a wider audience include:

  • Use local touchpoints such as charities, volunteer networks and health practices.
  • Make use of alternative formats. Great for people with certain impairments, different age groups and people who speak other languages - view alternative formats example here.
  • Create printable workout sheets to go with online videos - view NHS printable exercise sheets.
  • Try audio described workouts and radio broadcasts - Ten Today uses radio to reach older age groups. 

2. My locality

Transport and travel are significant barriers to accessing activity for many people. It can also limit the types of equipment available too. Offer ‘at home’ workouts and encourage individuals and families to be creative and work out using household items.

Use the STEP inclusion tool to modify sessions and make them suitable for a home environment. View STEP inclusion tool and guidance for organisations.

Superhero Tri have created a new At Home Superheroes initiative to keep people connected and active during the COVID-19 period. 

3. Me, not my impairment 

Not everyone relates to the term ‘disability’ or identifies as a disabled person. Think carefully about the language you use in your promotions. Tap into motivational messaging and promote the benefits of being active, rather than who it is aimed at.

Use positive language and terminology when designing marketing materials. Diverse and real-life imagery will help people to relate to your sessions. Our inclusive communications language factsheet is a good place to start.

View inclusive communications guidance here.

Illustration of girl with prosthetic leg running with dog on lead, older man doing sit stand exercises and woman using gym exercise ball4. My values 

Consider what matters most to your disabled participants who may feel more isolated right now. Even though we know physical and mental health are high on the priority list, we all enjoy fun sessions too. Create fun and challenging sessions that people can take part in on their own, with family or friends.

Your sessions may be the only human interaction some people have all week. Maximise the social opportunities with ‘virtual’ coffee and chat time before or after sessions. Send regular emails, letters or texts to participants with extra ideas, like recipes and healthy lifestyle tips.

We’ve seen some great examples recently:

5. My Life Story

Over our lifetime, our preferences and habits can change. Keep disabled people interested over time with new ideas. Try mixing up the activities you provide. Offer different versions of your activity.

Think about:

  • Parent and children activities - follow PE teacher Mr Higgins on Twitter for ideas on how to adapt activities for all ages and abilities.
  • SEND focussed activities - Bristol Bears Rugby Foundation are delivering fun exercise focussed activities for children with special educational needs. Visit Bristol Bears YouTube channel.
  • Exercises for older people - Move it or Lose it supports thousands of older people to keep fit at home with a range of fitness products including online classes, DVDs and resistance bands.

6. Reassure me

Some disabled people and people with health conditions need to know more about the activity before taking part. You can use short videos, graphics and images to reassure disabled people. Or even give them a quick call beforehand to boost their confidence.

Provide clear and accessible information about your organisation, the instructor and the activity. A home activity support pack may help (printable or digital). Include information on what to wear and what household equipment to have ready. Some participants need to feel others in the household can get involved if support is required.

Sport for Confidence’s Stay Connected service offers their participants a weekly personalised telephone support call from an occupational therapist.

Illustration of woman doing yoga exercises, older man doing step-ups and woman in a wheelchair throwing tennis ball 7. Include me 

People with impairments or health conditions want to feel included in your planning and marketing. Testing ideas with a diverse group of people can help you to find the best way to do this.

Show you care by offering additional support and providing information in alternative formats for people with impairments or health conditions. Easy read, audio description and British Sign Language (BSL) videos are good alternative formats to consider.

Accessible activities for people with specific impairments:  

8. Listen to me

Being active at home, often for the first time, may mean additional questions. Offer a variety of ways for participants to ask questions and feedback. This means considering communication barriers. Make time for questions and feedback through different methods – telephone, text, email etc. This can make a huge difference to an individual’s experience.

COVID-19 research from Sport England tells us that 62% of adults in England say it’s more important to be active now, compared to before the outbreak. And, 20% of those doing home-based fitness online are doing it with children in their household.

Accessible research and insight tools can also help you engage with a bigger audience. Sport England’s Guide to Research can help you carry out top-quality accessible research.

9. Welcome me

A friendly face and voice can help wonders, especially if social isolation is a potential concern among your customers. First impressions count and an unpleasant experience can prevent anyone from being active again. Manage queries swiftly and accessibly.

Providing that welcoming and friendly approach can be done virtually too. Great examples of these are:

10. Show me 

Showcase disabled people or people with health conditions among your workforce or customers. Encourage disabled participants to be in your marketing videos and other materials. Share real life stories of being active at home.  

A good example of this are Parasport UK’s home workout series. These are led by Wheely Good Fitness instructor Kris Saunders-Stowe.  

Paracise and the We are Undefeatable campaign are both good examples of showcasing disabled people and people with long-term health conditions in their promotions. 

More information on the Ten Principles 

For more information about the Ten Principles and how you can use them in your work, visit our Ten Principles page.

It features an introduction video, plus a series of short films that showcase the Ten Principles in action. You'll also find links to our Talk to Me research report. 

Healthcare professionals and sport or activity providers, show us how you are using the Ten Principles to encourage activity at home. Let us know by emailing our communications team or call 0161 228 2868.