This film is part of Free

4 and 20 Fit Girls

Flock to your local keep fit class - there's a war on and Britain needs its citizens in tip-top shape.

1940 11 mins Silent


These sprightly scenes of women partaking in energetic group exercise at a local community hall - in fetching grey tunics - add up to something of a wartime curio. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of healthy feet: "Well-exercised feet help you keep fresh in housework or shopping or standing about at your job," says narrator EVH Emmett, encouragingly.

With WWII well underway, women watching this film would typically have been working in a munitions factory or on an aircraft or shipbuilding assembly line - where there wouldn't have been too time for much 'standing about'! The film was part of a wider three-year national fitness campaign organised by the National Fitness Council for England and Wales, which issued grants to local authorities to run fitness classes like the one shown here. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.