The fitness industry is growing and so is the amount of people looking after their health. It would be assumed that younger age groups are most active. However, a study has shown that the most active age group are over 55s.
Experts have been looking more at the fitness of younger people and how we can get more younger people active. Work such as Nuffield Health‘s study looks into what is stopping people from getting fit.
The study by Nuffield Health shows that 1/3 of people aged 18-35, feel too self-conscious to join a gym. This could be a factor as to why older age groups are among the most active.
Previous research into social media and fitness shows that platforms such as Instagram could actually have a negative effect on our fitness. Unsurprisingly, the study showed 22% of those surveyed said seeing photos online made them feel under pressure to look a certain way.
Fitness is clearly not as appealing as the idea of looking good. Therefore, this shows there is still a long way to go to get people active and feeling confident. Fitness pages and ‘influencers’ aim to make fitness accessible and appealing. Yet expert Stephen Macconville said “[fitness brands/influencers] can hold people back from making their first foray into a gym”. Influencers and brands now play a big part in young peoples lives. There becomes a problem when the brands/influencers are putting young people off fitness rather than encouraging them.
Nuffield Health looked at 2,000 participants who have active social media accounts. This was to encourage them to find out what the main factors are that are pushing people away from fitness. The results were as follows; 1 in 3 people feel too self-conscious. 24% said that they are “worried everyone will look at me”, which has always been a big deterrent for many.
What can young people do to get active?
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.
For those who are self-conscious in the gym, there are many other ways to keep fit than the gym. There are 1-to-1 Personal Training sessions -not all PTs work from inside gyms. Some work from inside a studio/small space so they can cater specifically to those not comfortable in the gym.
Nuffield Health asked participants “what would encourage you to go to the gym?”. The results were very positive for Personal Trainers and those with reputable fitness qualifications. 26% of participants said that tailored exercise plans would encourage them to take up fitness.
Having a Personal Trainer to hand would be a big encouragement to get fit. However, the study did eventually point back to social media as the biggest deterrent for those not getting fit. 62% of women and 48% of men say that more attainable images on social media would encourage them to get fit.
Overall, the research says that young people need to combat their inactivity by not focusing on social media. Rather than using fitness to only look good, young people should learn about the health benefits – both mentally and physically.
To learn about the benefits of fitness, click here.
Personal Trainers can make fitness more fun and appealing by going beyond their Level 3 Personal Training qualifications. We offer courses in specialist areas of fitness such as Nutrition and Exercise Referral. For all courses, click here.