What are the most common gym bugbears?
April 25th, 2023, Christien Pheby

What are the most common gym bugbears?

It’s the London Marathon this month – and with upwards of 40,000 runners making the 26.2 mile journey, it’s the kind of event that might well inspire some to take up exercise in the hope of making next year’s race. A gym might be an obvious choice: some 45% of Britons say they have a membership or have had one at some point in the past (13% say they have one currently).

But a gym can be a daunting environment. Half of all past and present gym-goers said they felt self-conscious while working out in these spaces (51%) – a problem that’s much more pronounced among women, with three in five feeling self-conscious (59%) compared to two in five men (42%).

And if consumers do overcome the self-consciousness, there’s evidence to suggest some might have a pretty annoying time anyway. Some 41% of gymgoers said they experienced overcrowding at their gym, 37% said they were confused about how to use the equipment, and 32% said they had seen other members hogging the equipment at their gym. Some 30% also said fellow gymgoers did not return equipment to its rightful place after using it, with 27% saying that facilities and equipment were unclean and 26% saying other gym members tended to hover around the equipment while they were using it.

More low-level annoyances include other members using the equipment improperly (17%), a lack of lockers (13%), and unsolicited advice from other gym members (9%) and staff (5%). Younger gym members aged 18-34 were more likely to have experienced overcrowding (41%), confusion (37%) and equipment being left out (38%) than the norm.

YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 29 March 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, social grade and education to be representative of all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older), and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.