Ordering a takeaway online ‘easier than booking a fitness class’

Ordering takeaway food is twice as easy as booking a sport or fitness class online, according to research by Sport England.

Findings from a survey of 1,815 adults by ComRes will be revealed at an event at the Wellcome Collection in London on Tuesday.

It found that booking a holiday, taxis, concerts and takeaways were all easier to do online than signing up to sport facilities.

Some 68% of adults said they found it easy to order a takeaway online, while only half of that number – a third of respondents at 34% – said the same about booking sport or fitness activities.

One in five adults has been put off doing sport because it was too difficult to find or book online, according to the research, with respondents listing price as the most important point when searching for an activity online.

In response, Sport England will announce that it is awarding £1.5 million of National Lottery funding to the Open Data Institute (ODI) to work with providers like leisure centres and sports clubs to open their data.

Sport Minister Mims Davies and Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth will urge providers of sport and physical activity to commit to opening their data by the end of 2019, making booking fitness and sport classes easier for consumers.

Mr Hollingsworth said: “Our survey shows that at the moment there are too many barriers to entry. So, this is about giving the public the choice to find sport and physical activity in a way that meets the expectations they have in all other aspects of their lives.

“This is a real tipping point moment. Now is the time for the whole sector to collaborate to reach millions more people, remove the barriers they face and supercharge the number of people getting active in England for the health of our nation.”

Ms Davies said: “It should be as easy to book a court, football pitch or exercise class as it is to order your favourite takeaway or hire a cab.

“Not being able to easily plan and book online potentially puts many people off doing more physical activity. By opening up data we can remove barriers to taking part, make it much easier for people to get active and promote much needed digital innovation.”

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