Sweatband LogoBritons Increasingly Turning To Home Workouts And Outdoor Fitness

     11 Aug 13

New research from an online sports equipment retailer in the UK has revealed that home workouts and outdoor fitness routines are on the rise, as a third of people have quit the gym in order to opt for training outside and in the home; citing the high cost of ‘gym fees’ and the feeling of ‘self-consciousness’ when in a gym environment.

The study, conducted by Sweatband.com, polled 1,662 UK adults from around the UK who claimed to regularly exercise as part of ongoing research into fitness habits.

Respondents were initially asked ‘How often do you exercise?’ which revealed the most common answer to be 2-3 times a week; as 46% of respondents stated that figure when questioned.

The study then asked ‘Where are you most likely to undertake exercise?’ and asked respondents to select from a list of possible options, which revealed the following top five. They were allowed to select more than one option if more than one applied.

  1. At the gym – 39%
  2. Home workouts -36%
  3. Outdoor training – 33%
  4. As part of a team – rugby, football etc – 28%
  5. Sports club – tennis, squash etc – 21%

The study then looked at those who didn’t select ‘at the gym’ as an option and asked them why this was. The responses revealed that ‘cost’ was the number one factor putting them off gym membership, as 44% of respondents said that they didn’t want to pay for a gym membership. 32% explained that they felt ‘too self conscious’ when exercising in front of other gym users, whilst just over a quarter, 24%, felt that the gym ‘took up too much time’ from their day with getting there, changing and showering taken into account.

Those who claimed to workout at home, or partake in outdoor training, were asked, ‘Were you previously a member of a gym?’ to which the majority of respondents, 62%, said that ‘yes’ they had been a member of a gym at some stage. When asked how long ago they had quit the gym, a third, 32%, stated that it had been within the ‘last few months’. These respondents were also asked, ‘Do you see yourself returning to the gym at some stage?’ to which the majority, 56%, said ‘no’.

The study also looked at the factors influencing people to take up the other forms of exercise and asked those that had selected home workouts or outdoor training as an option why they preferred their choice as a fitness option over the gym. The top answer for home workouts and outdoor training was simply its ‘relative cheapness,’ at 41%, when compared to the gym. 31% also said that they felt more comfortable ‘exercising without people watching’, whilst a further 27% felt that it was ‘less time consuming than attending the gym’. However 41% did confess that it was sometimes ‘harder to motivate themselves’ without actually going to the gym.

Respondents were asked if they exercised alone or with other people. The majority of home workouts, 63%, were carried out by individuals; however, 24% stated that they tended to train at home ‘with their partner’. 55% of gym users trained alone, but 42% claimed to ‘train with a gym buddy’.

When asked what form of exercise a home workout consisted of for the respondents it applied to, a ‘mixed circuit’ came top with 32%, followed by a ‘fitness DVD’ at 27% and a ‘weights workout’ at 22%. Outdoor training was most commonly a ‘run’ at 51%, followed by a ‘mixed circuit’ at 29% and a ‘fitness boot camp’ at 22%.

Maz Darvish, CEO of Sweatband.com had the following comment:

“As gym prices increase along with the cost of everyday living, it’s no surprise that people are opting for the cheaper home work out. Exercising at home also has the added benefit of better time flexibility. You don’t need to travel to and from the gym.”

He continued:

“The home  provides many opportunities for workouts without having to pay a monthly direct debit for the privilege. You can do a lot of exercise without the need for any extra equipment, but if you invest in suitable fitness accessories,  they’re yours for life and won’t rack up unforeseen fees. I think they’ll always be a place for the gym, but people shouldn’t regard it as the be all and end all.”