Mystery Shoppers

We’re helping women to try new things and spark change.

Women aged 45 – 54 are among the least active groups in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. We wanted to understand why and harness the energy of local women to create change. So we recruited female mystery shoppers to help.

I’m recently separated, looking for a new experience and to gain energy and meet new friends.

Mystery Shopper, Havant

Our mystery shoppers

Our mystery shoppers are all Hampshire women aged 45-54. Before the project, they were doing little or no exercise. Each of them had their own reasons why. They all wanted to be more active. Yet something was stopping them.

I have been thinking about some exercise to help with weight loss and now the children have left home l do have some spare time.

Mystery Shopper, Havant

Looking for answers

National research reveals a lot about what prevents women from being active. But we wanted to test whether there were practical local issues at play. So we teamed up with local women to experience finding and joining a new activity from their perspective.

We paid for our mystery shoppers to take part in an activity of their choice for eight weeks. They’ve shared feedback at every stage of the process, from the ease of searching for activities to the experience of attending.

We’re now using their experiences to help local activity providers fine-tune their sessions and how they promote them.

I've noticed that I'm sleeping better and my mental health has really improved.

Mystery Shopper, Havant

Happier and healthier

After eight weeks, all of the women wanted to continue their activities. They felt healthier and were enjoying other benefits, such as improved sleep. Some had made new friends. Three ladies with long-term health conditions said their symptoms had improved.

One of the group went from doing less than 30 minutes of exercise per week to doing nearer 300.

Our mystery shoppers are now advising us on how to support more women to be active in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Find out more about mystery shoppers

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