Over half of Brits don’t know what to do in gym, study says

Research shows 23 per cent are too embarrassed to use equipment, while many adults don't have basic knowledge to advance workouts

Monday 08 January 2018 03:10 GMT
Exercising regularly has been shown to improve brain cognition
Exercising regularly has been shown to improve brain cognition (Skydive Erick)

More than half of British fitness fanatics are baffled about what to do in the gym, according to new research from Nuffield Health.

A study of 2,000 adults shows a fifth have no idea how to use gym machinery while chest-press machines, stair-climbers and even treadmills leave many adults feeling intimidated, and as such, 23 per cent find themselves too embarrassed to use the equipment.

In addition, a quarter of those polled are too shy to ask for help, which leads to 18 per cent ‘making it up’ when in the gym.

One fifth admit to copying someone else’s workout either because they looked like they knew what they were doing or because they liked the way that person looked.

Helen Skelton – TV presenter, mother-of-two and fitness enthusiast - is helping Nuffield Health raise awareness of the importance of a personalised approach to fitness. She said, “Wellbeing is so personal, it just makes sense that everyone needs a plan that is built around them and their needs.

“Copying someone else’s workout in the gym is not only likely to prove ineffective, as it hasn’t been tailored to you, but it could also result in injury.

“You can waste time in the gym, or you can use it wisely. Every person’s body is different so will respond to exercise in slightly different ways and it will depend on their goals.”

Nuffield Health offers a Health MOT to all gym members, assessing key health and fitness metrics which feed into a plan tailored for the individual. For a free gym trial and taster Health MOT, visit their website.

In addition to lacking confidence with gym equipment, the study shows many adults don’t possess a basic knowledge of the key measures that can be used to personalise a more effective workout plans.

Two thirds of those polled do not know what their body mass index is, and a further 75 per cent are clueless about their resting heart rate.

To track exercise progress, body fat percentage can be a useful indicator, but 88 per cent of adults didn’t know this figure either.

Seven in 10 Brits have no idea of their blood pressure, one fifth don’t know their own weight, and one in 10 don’t even know how tall they are.

And for those adults who do bother to go to the gym, almost half have no particular goal in mind and of those who do have a personalised workout plan, three quarters don’t set a deadline for achieving their goals.

Six in 10 people also have no clue about what combination of exercises they should be doing to achieve their health goals.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brits claim to spend at least 15 per cent of the time they should be exercising chatting, listening to music or walking about.


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in