Great Britain/US: How consumers exercise outside the gym
February 24th, 2022, Christien Pheby

Great Britain/US: How consumers exercise outside the gym

Home workouts have become more prominent thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic – which left many consumers who might have otherwise exercised in groups or in gyms to go it alone. But how do Britons and Americans choose to exercise outside of a dedicated facility?

Data from YouGov Profiles shows that, when asked, most consumers simply don’t bother. A quarter of the American (23%) and British public (24%) say they don’t exercise alone, while over two in five Americans (43%) and over half of Brits (55%) don’t work out at all. Whether it’s laziness, boredom, or fear of death by solo bench press isn’t clear.

Taking people who don’t work out at home out of the equation reveals some variety in terms of how people take care of their bodies by themselves. Calisthenics and bodyweight exercises reign supreme in the States (36%) among those who work out at home, and are among the top exercises in Great Britain (35%). Running, which is the most popular exercise in Britain (36%), is decidedly less popular in America (28%). Bodyweight exercises with equipment (e.g. a suspension trainer or pullup bar) are popular with three in ten Britons (30%) and a third of Americans (33%) who work out alone.

Weights are similarly popular in the US, where three in ten (31%) say they use them at home. Fear of being crushed under the barbell – or simply not having enough space for a proper home gym setup – may be more prevalent in Britain, where just one in five (21%) lift at home. Cycling (25% GB; 23% US), spinning (4% GB; 5% US), dancing (16% GB; 18% US), pilates (7% GB; 8% US), and tai chi (3% GB; 5% US) are comparably popular home workouts. A fair amount in both countries also said they chose solo exercises outside of this list of options (25% GB; 33% US).


YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.