With fitness growing and more people choosing to get fit and look after their health, it would be assumed that younger age groups are the most active, but a recent study shows that it is in fact over 55s that are most active, leading to experts focusing on getting more younger people active.
With this study surprising many, experts have been looking more at the fitness of younger people and how we can get more younger people active, with work such as Nuffield Health‘s new study looking into what is stopping people from getting fit.
The new study by Nuffield Health has shown that a third of people aged 18-35 feel too self-conscious to join a gym, which could be the main factor as to why older age groups are among the most active.
With previous research into social media and fitness showing that platforms such as Instagram could actually have a negative effect on our fitness, it is no surprise that the study showed that 22% of those surveyed said that seeing photos on social media made them feel under pressure to look a certain way.
As a whole, this is a sign that there is still a lot of work to be done if we want to get more people active, as fitness is clearly still not as appealing as it should be. Although the aim of fitness pages and influencers is to make fitness as accessible and appealing, experts such as Stephen Macconville at Nuffield Health have said “(fitness brands and influencers) can also hold people back from taking their first foray into a gym.” With many younger people being inactive or not active enough, this is a big problem, with influencers and fitness brands playing a big part when it comes to creating the image of fitness for younger people.
Throughout the study, Nuffield Health looked at 2,000 participants who have active social media accounts; allowing them to find out what the main factors are that are pushing people away from fitness. Along with 1 in 3 people feeling too self-conscious, 24% said that they don’t go to the gym because they are “worried everyone will look at me…”, which has always been a big deterrent for many.
With 1-to-1 Personal Training sessions and outdoor fitness making it possible for people to keep fit in a private way and away from the gym, there needs to be more work done to make those who are self-conscious more aware that there are ways that they can keep fit without having to be around others.
When furthering their findings, Nuffield Health asked participants what would encourage them to go to the gym, and the results were very positive for Personal Trainers and those with reputable fitness qualifications, as 26% of participants said that tailored exercise plans would encourage them to take up fitness.
Macconville has said “A Health MOT and regular check-ins with a Personal Trainer will ensure you’re doing what’s best for you and your body, no matter what your starting level of fitness is. This will help deliver better results than looking to other people or social media channels for inspiration.”
Although it is suggested that having a Personal Trainer to hand would be a big encouragement, the study did eventually point back to social media as the biggest deterrent for those not getting fit, with 62% of women and 48% of men saying that more realistic and relatable images from celebrities and influencers on social media would encourage them to get fit.
Overall, the research that has been done shows that people need to depend less on social media to build a healthy perception of fitness, and to do this, Personal Trainers and fitness professionals need to create more exposure and do what they can to combat the things pushing people away from fitness.
With many Personal Trainers going beyond their Level 3 Personal Training qualifications to get involved with specialist areas of fitness such as Nutrition and Exercise Referral, the chance for them to make fitness more appealing and get more people active is growing. If you want to become a Personal Trainer or further your PT qualifications to help make fitness appealing to more people, take a look at our industry-recognised qualifications or get in touch to see how you can help others by becoming a fitness professional.