As Brits emerge from lockdown, a sense of panic is felt amongst many who feel they need to look more fit and toned than before, with Instagram and facebook named the main reason for anxiety. Just one in 10 want to return to the gym straight away when they reopen.
Research by home exercise app, Eastnine.fit, has discovered two-thirds (63%) 18-24 year-olds admitted to feeling pressure to work out more during lockdown.
Social media was blamed as the reason why they felt this pressure, with 58% of this age group citing facebook and Instagram as the direct cause. This is twice the number of those twice their age – 30% of 35-44 year olds feel the social media strain.
Putting on weight during lockdown was also a key motivation for exercise, with 38% of 18-24 year olds saying this was an issue for them.
Pressure to look good when they do return to the office is also noted as a concern, with 29% stating they wanted to look their best when they get back to work.
Amongst 25-34 year-olds, the pressure only decreased slightly, with 58% saying they felt obliged to do more exercise and 56% citing social media as the main factor.
Catriona Forrest, co-founder of the Eastnine home fitness app said: “Of all the things for us to feel pressured about during the pandemic – exercise shouldn’t be one of them.
Working out is good for your mental health and your physical health, but if you’re putting pressure on yourself to keep up with influencers or friends and family – you’re not going to enjoy yourself.
Find a fun, safe way to exercise that fits in with your life and your routine, and you will see results.”
A quarter of British people said they found it cringeworthy when people shared their workouts on social media, despite almost the same amount of people (22%) saying they had taken part in workouts hosted on social media via Instagram Live. One in 20 (4%) have watched workouts but don’t join in.
Men are more likely to post their sweaty selfies on social media with a quarter (25%) admitting to this, compared to 14% of women.
Women also admitted to feeling more pressure to exercise due to gaining weight and feeling unhealthy during lockdown – with 37% of women agreeing to this statement, compared to 29% of men.
Catriona Forrest continued: “Working out from home is here to stay, with just one in 10 of us comfortable heading back to the gym as soon as they reopen.
Find what works for you and enables you to create a routine, be part of something, complete with cheerleaders to encourage you.”