Health club heebie-jeebies

January 5, 2018

According to Statistic Brain, about 132 million people worldwide have memberships to gyms and health clubs—although 67% of them almost never lift a weight or pedal a bike.

And one reason why health club memberships may drop off precipitously every January, after a rush of “newbies” begins exercising, could originate in the changing rooms.

Maybe it’s the bad memories of those high school locker rooms where personal space was not respected, but—according to results of a poll posted by YouGov on January 4—locker rooms make nearly one-third of Americans (31%) feel self-conscious: Whether they are overweight, underweight, recovering from surgery, or have other body issues, many people say they just don’t feel comfortable changing in front of others of the same gender.

Of those who will change in a gym locker room—YouGov reports, based on the responses of 8.314 U.S. adults questioned  in late December—a little over a one-third (34%) say that they feel comfortable changing all of their clothes in front of others, while 27% say that they’re only comfortable changing down to their underwear.

Interestingly enough, men and women do not experience the same feelings when they are changing: Forty-one percent of women say they’re not comfortable changing in front of others at all, compared with 20% of men.

Nearly half of men (47%) say that they are comfortable changing all of their clothes, while less than one-quarter of women (23%) say the same. At least one-quarter of men (25%) and women (28%) say they’re comfortable down to their underwear.

Research contact: Hoang.Nguyen@YouGov.com

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