Gym-clusivity Report: Celebrating the Empowerment of Inclusive Fitness

A gym is a place where people recharge, re-energise and recuperate their physical, mental and social batteries - but how important is an inclusive fitness space and just what impact does the gym have on our mental and physical health?

Following OriGym’s series of studies that have explored a spectrum of social issues within fitness and gym culture, this concluding report analyses how the fitness community has become more inclusive in recent years - and where improvements still need to be made. 

As a health and fitness education provider offering inclusive personal training qualifications, we want to educate PTs, fitness instructors and gymgoers on how to create a safe and uplifting community for all.

The report also explores what factors make a perfect gym and highlights the benefits of exercise on both our physical and mental health. 

The study reveals:

  • In light of the sobriety movement, 1 in 6 gym goers attend to socialise - with men more likely to use the gym to find friends 
  • There has been a 41% rise in demand for in-person group workouts in the past 12 months, while 1 in 12 Brits are logging off apps to ‘avoid’ toxic social media 
  • Insights and experiences from a woman who has recovered from an eating disorder through fitness
  • Location, choice of facilities and ‘favoured’ cardio area to make up components of the perfect gym, with the treadmill being the most in-demand apparatus

If you're ready to kickstart your career in fitness you can, why not enrol on OriGym's Level 3 PT Diploma?

What makes a positive gym experience?

In previous studies, we revealed not all gym experiences are the same. The Gym-timidation Study revealed 66% of women had felt some form of gym harassment by men, while in the Weight Stigma Study, 84% of plus-size and 84% of underweight gym goers all admitted to feeling negatively judged in a gym environment.

In a bid to create an inclusive environment for all, we want to understand what makes a positive gym experience. 

Luke Hughes, founder of OriGym and Level 4 PT said: “A positive gym environment can be defined by several factors that contribute to the overall satisfaction and enjoyment of the workout session. 

“One of the most important elements is having a supportive and motivating environment that encourages and empowers individuals to achieve their fitness goals. This includes having friendly and approachable staff members who are willing to provide guidance and assistance when needed.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as OriGym’s Weight Stigma Study revealed 9% of plus-size gym goers had experienced weight discrimination from a personal trainer. 

Luke adds: “Personal trainers have a duty of care and in a high-intensity environment like a gym, it’s important that gym staff and personal trainers are creating an inclusive atmosphere, especially towards those who feel out of their comfort zone.”

Other factors that can enhance the gym experience include having access to a variety of exercise options and classes, personalised training programs, and a sense of community and belonging among fellow gym goers. 

But what are the mental and physical health impacts of a positive gym culture? And do people across the UK benefit from this culture?

Fitness Culture and Mental Health

Why are Brits choosing the gym to socialise? 

Demand for ‘group gym classes’ are up 41% as 1 in 6 Brits go to the gym to socialise

The gym can offer the ideal social setting for many suffering from social anxiety, or even those looking to boost their social activity. 

For those with social anxiety, setting and achieving fitness goals can give people a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-esteem and confidence. Gyms are often filled with lots of like-minded individuals, so exposure to a more social environment can gradually build up a person’s confidence and reduce their anxiety.

In our Weight Stigma Study, we discovered that out of the Brits that attend or have attended the gym, 1 in 6 went to socialise. According to Google, there has been an increase in people looking to participate in more social-based fitness activities, like classes. In particular, the search term ‘group gym classes’ was Googled 41% more in the past 12 months. 

Luke revealed why more people may be showing an interest in in-person group classes: “The gym offers a great setting for those with similar fitness-based interests and in a gym class, the environment is usually high-energy and fun. This common interest can often provide a basis for conversation and social interaction.

“By keeping up a regular fitness routine that is scattered with fitness classes, you can create a sense of accountability among participants, which can help build a sense of community and break down social barriers, making it easier for people to connect with one another.”

If you want to help continue to make the fitness industry feel inclusive, you can learn about the highest-paying fitness jobs in fitness to help others feel welcomed at the gym.

How does exercise benefit your mental wellbeing?

As exercise releases endorphins in your brain, regular gym activity can improve a person's mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. A 2005 study about the mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity found that people who exercise regularly have lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who do not.

Brits swap booze for barbells: 1 in 6 Brits are choosing to socialise at the gym 

As revealed, 1 in 6 Brits who have attended a gym have done so to socialise - these individuals could also be looking to meet new like-minded friends. 

With Google searches for ‘how to go sober?’ up by 31% worldwide in the last year, the growing sobriety trend may too be the reason Brits are swapping booze for barbells. 

The growing interest on social media is giving the movement added momentum. Love Island star, Dr Alex George, revealed on TikTok that he was giving up alcohol as it was ‘restricting his experience of life’. But he’s not alone, as the hashtag #sober has 5.3b views, #alcoholfree has 1.7b views and #soberlife has 1.6b views. 

Where do Brits find friends?

Once you’ve finished school or graduated from university, it becomes increasingly hard to find friends outside of your already established social network. 

And this is reinforced by YouGov, which revealed nearly half of Brits meet their close friends at work, other top places include in a person’s neighbourhood, online and at a party. Brits who do not have these social opportunities can feel excluded. 

Others may feel discouraged about putting themselves out there and meeting new people, especially if they have had negative experiences with rejection or social anxiety in the past. 

Finding other people that share similar interests, values and lifestyles can also be challenging. Ultimately, this could be one of the primary reasons why Brits are utilising the gym as a healthy alternative to meeting people.

Gym routine encourages other social plans, study finds 

According to a study about creating better versions of the self through exercise, when you stick to a fitness schedule, you're likely to become more committed to plans outside of the gym. 

Regular exercise can boost a person’s mood, confidence and help establish a routine, which combined could lead to increased motivation to participate in social activities. 

Others may utilise the gym as a place to make more friends and meet new people. Gyms offer the opportunity to meet new, like-minded people, therefore by participating in these classes or training sessions, people often feel a sense of community and social support. This may encourage people to engage in other social activities outside of the gym.

Debuffing the gym’s ‘toxic masculinity’ status: Charity reveals gym’s changing landscape for men

Men are more likely to use the gym to find friends 

Our Weight Stigma Study found that men were more likely to attend the gym than women (70% compared to 60% of women). While men were more likely to attend the gym to socialise (15% compared to 12% of women) and meet like-minded people (10% compared to 7% of women). 

This sense of community could be integral for boosting men’s mental health, especially when the suicide rate among men is nearly 15% higher than among women, according to the ONS

Going to the gym can provide men with a healthy outlet for stress, a sense of accomplishment, opportunities to socialise and showcase positive role modelling. 

The Body Image Study revealed a third of men feel pressure to change their appearance because of ‘picture perfect’ beauty standards. While the Weight Stigma Study found that after experiencing some form of weight stigma, over a third of men who wore a UK clothing size of ‘small’ or under said they had modified their diet in order to change their build. 

A majority of these men said this weight prejudice made them ‘want to build muscle’ while nearly a quarter said they’d ‘binge eaten’ because of weight discrimination and admitted it had a long-lasting effect on their mental health. Of the male gym-goers, nearly 1 in 10 admitted that they had been weight shamed in the gym. This could highlight a toxic culture of gyms being a space where men don't feel accepted if they're not a ‘normal’ build.

With that in mind, it’s never been more important to promote a positive, inclusive gym culture where all people and body types feel comfortable and welcome.

Men need a healthy space to feel accepted 

A study published about gender and social isolation across the life course has found that boys and men experience more social isolation than girls and women. 

Generally speaking, women are stereotypically known for nurturing friendships with social plans and meet-ups. Some would argue that women have more opportunities to meet new friends via clubs, work, school playgrounds, mother and baby meet-ups and classes.

Generally, men tend to socialise in groups, with a focus on doing an activity like a game, a sport or in a social setting like a pub. 

For centuries, the pub has been the social hub for men to hang out, relax and socialise. In particular, a 2020 YouGov study found that men missed going to the pub more than women during the pandemic by 35% compared to women’s 21%.

Cultural expectations and norms associated with masculinity have often left men struggling to deal with their emotions. With limited places to socialise, men are often restricted to where they can interact in a healthy setting - this could be why many are choosing the gym as a new meeting place.  

Experts explain why there has been a positive shift in men’s role in the fitness industry 

In the last few years, the fitness industry has implemented ways to become more inclusive. Although the gym can often be seen as a place which harbours toxic signs of traditional masculinity, men’s mental health charity MANUP? revealed the fitness landscape is changing for the better. 

Dan Somers, CEO & Founder of MANUP? said: “[In my opinion] gym culture is no more toxic than any male-dominated workplace.

“From my experience, some of the more high street gyms seem to have issues, mates egging each other on and peering on women, etc. But recently, I'm getting feedback that it's slowing down because, quite simply, it's not being tolerated and is being called out more!”

He adds: “I’ve spoken with powerlifters, fitness coaches, boxers etc and rarely see anything ‘toxic’, I’m personally seeing a lot of change.”

He added:“In the powerlifter, boxing, and, I guess, semi-professional 'gym world’, I see the toxic side of masculinity being pushed out, and for quite some time. The conversations are now being centred more around mental health.”

Graeme Hinde, founder of LFXWorld - a fitness events network agrees that there has been a positive shift in men’s gym culture.  

“I think the pandemic was the game changer for men's mental health. The lockdown enabled a lot of men to start exercising and going on daily walks - I think they’d forgotten just how good physical activity made them feel mentally.

“When the second lockdown hit, men struggled a lot more because the weather during winter prevented them from getting out and exercising as much.”

Graeme said he has noticed more women engaging with equipment in typically male-dominated areas of the gym, with more women choosing to focus on weightlifting and strength exercises. 

“In my opinion, I think that has given men an opportunity to share these often male-dominated spaces and become more respectful in the way they train in these areas. There’s still a long way to go but we’re definitely on the right track as an industry.”

Graeme added: “I think men in the fitness space have become a lot more open when it comes to talking about their feelings. It never used to be like that - particularly in fitness, men didn’t speak about how they felt.”

Instead of harbouring a culture of toxic masculinity, the gym can provide positive role models for healthy masculinity, as men can see other men setting goals, working hard, and taking care of their bodies in a healthy way.


Stigma at the Gym 

Over 4 in 5 (84%) of plus-size & ‘underweight’ gym goers have felt judged at the gym 

While 4 in 10 plus-size Brits avoid the gym because of weight worries

At OriGym, we teach budding personal trainers the importance of creating an inclusive environment for all people, whatever their size or fitness level. But our study has found many feel intimidated when stepping foot in their local gym. 

This intimidation about working out was felt most strongly by gym goers who classed themselves as ‘obese’ and those that class themselves as ‘underweight’. 

The survey revealed over 4 in 5 (84%) of the people in these weight brackets had experienced some form of weight judgement at the gym, while under a third (28%) of plus-size and less than a quarter (21%) of ‘underweight’ gym goers have said they don’t feel comfortable or welcome going to their local gym. 

Of those plus size Brits that don’t, or have never attended a gym, over 4 in 10 (41%) said they had never been to the gym because they were ‘worried about people judging their weight’, while a third (33%) said they were ‘worried about people judging their performance’. 

How to become a more inclusive personal trainer

As a personal trainer, it is essential to be inclusive and considerate of your clients' struggles, insecurities,  diverse needs and backgrounds. All of these factors help to create a welcoming environment for new and recurring gym goers.  Here are some practices you can adopt in order to become an inclusive personal trainer:

  1. Build a positive and respectful relationship with your clients. Take the time to understand their needs, goals, and preferences, and create a safe and welcoming environment for them.
  2. Respect your clients' cultural backgrounds, including their beliefs, values, and practices. Be aware of cultural differences and avoid making assumptions or stereotypes.
  3. Use inclusive language when communicating with your clients. Avoid using terms or expressions that could be offensive or disrespectful to them.
  4. Consider your clients' individual abilities and limitations. Adjust your training programs to their fitness level and any physical or medical conditions they may have.
  5. Provide a variety of exercises and training options that cater to different body types, fitness levels and goals.
  6. Be open to feedback from your clients and willing to adjust your training approach based on their needs and preferences.
  7. Continuously educate yourself on cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion to better understand and support your clients.

By following these practices, you can ensure you are being an inclusive personal trainer and providing the best possible support to your clients.

Pressures of Online Fitness Culture

Is the fit-fluencer scene growing? A quarter of Brits get their fitness advice on social media

With the rise of social media and the increasing interest in health and wellness, the fitness influencer scene has exploded in popularity in recent years.

Of those surveyed in the Body Image Study, a quarter of Brits were using social media apps to keep up to date with diet and fitness advice. As fitness influencers are often seen as role models, many in the scene have garnered an increased follower count as people look to them for guidance and inspiration. 

Unfortunately, with increased popularity comes an increased amount of criticism. Emily Robinson, who shares gym tips on her Instagram, , says every influencer deals with negative comments online, but body-focused comments are especially common within the fitness space.

She told USA Today: “This is especially true with female fitness influencers. I've dealt with a wide variety of comments from both men and women such as ‘she doesn't even have muscle definition - why should I listen to her?’ or ‘wow, she has to be on steroids.’ 

They'll even go as far as to assume your gender, with comments such as 'That has to be a guy' or 'I'm not sure if this is a guy or girl' simply because you have more muscle mass than the average cover girl model.”

She admitted that these hateful comments can have a huge hit on her mental health.

Other ‘fitfluencers’ in this space have experienced online abuse. 

Fitness influencer yanyahgotitmade has experienced social media abuse before and during her pregnancy. One user told the coach that the ‘majority of men don’t like the way she is shaped’ while others were on hand to offer some unsolicited pregnancy advice. 

Online hate: 20% of plus-size Brits have been weight-shamed on social media 

Fitfluencers aren’t the only ones to experience hateful comments online, as 20% of plus-size Brits admitted they had been weight-shamed on social media, in the Weight Stigma Study

How to reduce hate and make social media a more inclusive space 

Lauren Black, creator of @loveglowheal and a body-positive social media influencer who suffered with anorexia for over ten years, says there is immense pressure being created by social media beauty standards.

She said to log off when social media starts to affect your mental health. Lauren says: “You can develop a sense of​ mindfulness by stopping yourself in the middle of your thoughts and saying ‘this might not be real.’

“When you’re feeling like this, take a break from your phone and go and do something else whilst using the likes of affirmations, that's what I do.” 

Rise in in-person workouts: 1 in 12 Brits feel like logging off to ‘avoid’ toxic social media 

In the Body Image Study, 1 in 12 Brits admitted that they felt like ‘avoiding social media for a while’ when social media was starting to negatively impact their mental health. 

This could be why more people are choosing to log off apps and experience real life. Search activity has revealed more people are wanting to work out in person with the search term ‘group gym classes’ having been Googled 41% more this year. 

Luke said: “Social media can have a profound and damaging effect on all of our mental health. Logging off, going for a run or working out with friends or in person at the gym can do wonders for your mood and energy, 

“Working out in a gym or with a PT or friend provides a unique level of accountability, support and motivation that cannot be replicated online. The human connection and energy created during an in-person session is invaluable for boosting mental health, reducing stress, and improving overall well-being."

Building better habits: How fitness helped Brits combat their conditions 

Battling body demons: How the gym became woman’s weapon against Anorexia

Fitness isn’t always about losing weight and getting killer abs. For a growing number of people in recovery from eating disorders, exercise has been the tool for aiding their journey.

For Sheffield cafe manager, Charlotte Allinson, 30, the gym has been a saving grace for building strength and a healthier lifestyle. 

At the peak of her anorexia, at the age of 21, Charlotte’s initial social media health kick caused her to develop an eating disorder after she dropped to a tiny six stone.

After joining Instagram in her second year of university, Charlotte started to notice new diet trends on her feed at the time. 

She said: “When Instagram was a new thing, I got sucked into the whole eating clean thing. At the time it wasn’t eating clean in a body positivity way, it was eating ‘0% sugar, 0% fat’ if you want to look good.”

“Then as I started to diet and join the gym and lose a bit of weight, I got sucked into wanting to lose more and more. Especially as I have quite an addictive personality, it just became obsessive.”

Things quickly got out of hand after she jumped on the scales one day to find she weighed 6st - the same weight as a 10-year-old girl.

She said: “My weight had gone down to 6 stone and I remember I lost my period completely. I can’t remember how long I lost it, but it was a significant amount of time. 

“It got so severe I had to go to the doctor and have ultrasounds about it. At one point the doctor said to me that I might have trouble conceiving and having children in the future just because of how bad it had gotten.” 

The doctor also warned her of other major health complications that could be triggered because of her anorexia and bulimia. 

“They said I’d be more prone to heart attacks and my bulimia would be having a damaging effect on my gums and my teeth and warned my teeth could rot away. I think that made me snap out of it a little bit because for a while I felt like I was in a trance.” 

Although the gym was one of her initial triggers, it has also helped her on her road to recovery. 

“When I first went to the gym I was going for the wrong reasons to lose weight, now I’m going to do activities that I enjoy, not to make my body look better but to make myself feel better internally. As well as the mental and physical benefits I gain from it. 

“My physical health is a lot better, my periods have returned and I’m more lenient with myself now.”

For years, Charlotte suffered from exhaustion, feeling weak and low energy from over-exercising and limiting how much she ate. Now her focus is building strength.

At the peak of her disorder, Charlotte would go to the gym every single day, sometimes twice a day. She said: “I think because I was underweight and weak for so long, I now have the urge to be healthy and strong. 

“I’m 30 now and I think the older I get I realise that you do get old, your body doesn’t last forever and you do need to take care of it. And for me, running is great for building up strength around your joints and weights have helped add to my upper body strength. I don’t want to get to 50 and think I should’ve done more for my physical health. 

“My focus is no longer being skinny.” 

She has advice for people who want to stay active but are worried about the potential of slipping into an over-exercising routine.

She says: “My advice would be to definitely take it steady and if you know a personal trainer it’s worth getting advice on how to start a routine and how to diet and exercise in moderation.”

Fitness Culture and Physical Health

What makes the perfect gym

Everyone knows the benefits of exercise, it’s been proven to alleviate mental health, build  stronger muscles, provide more energy, improve weight management and aid better sleep. And as a place designed to offer and house a multitude of exercise apparatus, the gym is one of the perfect places for improving a person’s mental and physical health. 

But what makes the perfect setting?  The perfect gym can mean different things to different people. However, there are some general factors that most gym goers look for. 

Looking at equipment first, OriGym spoke with TrackMyGym, a multi-site gym consultant that digitises the gym floor and tracks data on a range of fitness equipment and surveys both gyms and attendants. Using data from 200+ gyms and 200,000+ surveys they found that: 

The most popular cardio machines are:

1) Treadmills

2) Cross Trainers

3) Upright Cycles

The most popular resistance machines are:

1) Dual Adjustable Pulley Cables

2) Lateral Pulldown

3) Leg Press

OriGym also spoke to LFXWorld, a fitness events network that works directly with fitness centres to improve their gym offering. LFXWorld asked staff at 50 centres what were the key factors attracting members. The results are below:

Why do people say they have chosen to join your centre/club?








Community aspect/friends already members




Which single activity/session attracts the most members?



Swimming lessons/aquatics




From the survey results, unsurprisingly one of the key factors attracting new gym members is the convenience of location. When a centre can be easily accessed by its local community it will attract more members who can incorporate gym time into their daily routine. 

Gyms that have a positive atmosphere and members who already had friends there rated this as a positive centre attribute. A gym with a social and welcoming environment can make it a more enjoyable and motivating place to work out. 

When gym-goers feel welcome and included in their fitness community, they are more likely to enjoy their workout routine and stick to it. This can help increase their motivation, consistency and ultimately achieve their fitness goals.

A 2022 study looked at how social support affected exercise participation among college students and found it had a significant positive predictive effect on exercise adherence. This could be because having a friend or social support group at the gym can create a sense of accountability and motivation that keeps them coming back. By contrast, those who feel isolated or uncomfortable in the gym may struggle to build a consistent workout routine. 

What are Brits’ preferred gym equipment? 

In OriGym’s Gym-timidation Study, we found that men and women had different responses regarding which equipment they preferred and avoided. 

The nationwide study found that all men that attend the gym would prefer to use the cardio machines, such as treadmills and rowing machines. As some of the most expensive pieces of equipment at the gym this makes the most financial sense, as people are much more likely to be able to do resistance training and use free weights at home.  

The area of the gym that men were most likely to avoid was the group classes. As community fitness classes tend to focus on cardio-based activities in a group setting, the results show that men prefer to use gym equipment for their cardio needs.

Favoured gym areas for Brits: 

  • Cardio equipment
  • Resistance area
  • Free weights

Feeling safe at the gym

Quarter of female gym goers avoid resistance and weight areas

Women, transgender, non-binary and gender-fluid people admitted to avoiding the resistance area the most in the gym. In stark contrast, 39% of men typically use the resistance area. 

28% of women gym goers who mostly avoid the resistance area cite the reason as ‘it’s mostly men in there’ and 18% admitted to men making them feel uncomfortable there. 

Crossing the divide into male-dominated spaces appears to be highly intimidating, and some feel comfortable in different areas of the gym. 

Should gyms have women’s-only resistance and weights area?

Luke gave his thoughts: “Creating exclusive areas for women in gyms is an important way to ensure that they have a safe and comfortable space to exercise.

“This is not about excluding men, but rather providing an additional option for women who sometimes feel intimidated or uncomfortable in shared areas. When women feel more comfortable and confident during exercise, they are more likely to continue with a healthy and active lifestyle, which is crucial for their overall wellbeing.”

The health benefits of going to the gym 

Studies have shown that exercise has numerous benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, increasing muscle strength and endurance, and helping manage weight. 

According to the British Heart Foundation, regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart and circulatory diseases by up to 35% - the leading cause of death worldwide. Additionally, a 2016 study about the effects of resistance training found that resistance training can increase muscle strength and endurance, which is essential for maintaining a healthy body. 

The most popular fitness trends in 2023

From new workout styles to cutting-edge equipment, the world of fitness is always on the move. Now, data reveals the most popular fitness trends we can expect to see in 2023.

Loved by the cycling community, Onelap can be used in gyms in tandem with indoor bikes. It creates a realistic environment of a natural cycle track, while a physical model simulates the gradient, wind and rolling resistance of a journey. You can tailor every aspect of your avatar, bike and route — whether it’s a hilly, flat or mountainous route.

With a 54% increase in search volume, Rear Delt Exercises are a popular fitness trend this year. These types of exercises target the rear deltoid muscle, which is located on the back of the shoulder. The rear deltoid muscle plays an important role in stabilising the shoulder joint and helping to move the arm backwards, away from the body. Some examples of this exercise include: 

  • Face Pulls: This exercise is performed using a cable machine and involves pulling the cable towards your face while keeping your elbows high and wide.
  • Incline Rear Delt Raises: This exercise is performed lying face down on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and lifting your arms out to the side in a reverse fly motion.

Push-day workouts are another type of exercise trending right now. This type of workout focuses on pushing exercises, such as chest presses, shoulder presses, and triceps extensions. The workout is designed to target the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

This exercise has been shared by users on TikTok, the hashtag #pushworkout has a collective 79.6M views overall, while #pushday itself has a huge 519.6M views.

As these types of workouts focus on building upper body strength and muscle, they tend to be more popular among the male demographic. For example, a study about gender differences in exercise in 2013 found that men were more likely to engage in strength training, while women were more likely to engage in aerobic exercise. 

Are there expectations for men and women to work out a specific way?

Traditionally, there have been expectations for men and women to work out in specific ways based on gender roles and stereotypes. 

While men have tended to sway to muscle-building exercises like strength training and weight lifting, while women have been expected to focus on cardio and weight loss. These expectations have been reinforced through media, marketing, and cultural messaging, which have perpetuated the idea that certain types of exercise are more appropriate or desirable for men or women. 

These days, partly due to the exposure of fitness trends, workouts, and fitfluencers on social media, these expectations are increasingly being challenged as more people recognise the importance of a diverse range of exercises for overall health and fitness. 

How to conquer workout stereotypes

Luke Hughes explains why it’s important to diversify your workouts and shun standard exercise stereotypes: “Today, people in the fitness industry are challenging workout stereotypes and encouraging individuals to engage in a variety of different types of exercise based on their personal interests and goals, rather than conforming to traditional gender cliches.

“Speak directly to a personal trainer, try a different type of workout on YouTube or TikTok or even attend a gym class that you wouldn’t usually attempt. You might find that you enjoy or are more suited to a different type of exercise.”

The Takeaway

From women wanting female-only gyms to social media’s impact on body image and the weight stigma problem affecting the nation, our series of studies have highlighted the worrying social issues affecting the fitness industry. 

Now, the Gym-clusivity Study highlights the positive impact of the fitness industry on British people's physical and mental health, as well as its increasing inclusivity. We’ve found, men, in particular, are using the gym to socialise, and group fitness classes are becoming more popular. Experts say that the gym environment has become more respectful, while studies have shown the gym has helped those with mental and physical disorders recover. The study also identifies the perfect equipment and setting for a gym and suggests ways to create a dynamic and progressive future landscape.


  • Google and TikTok data 
  • Other stats have been linked to source and studies throughout
  • Stats taken from the Gymtimidation study, Body Image Study and Weight Stigma study all of which were based off nationwide Censuswide surveys with 1000 - 2100+ respondents.
  • TrackMyGym - 1,000+ detailed gym analysis at a wide variety of gyms, budget to luxury - across UK, EU and USA. This is from sensors attached to the equipment, face to face surveys on tablets - 200+ per gym analysis and from over 200,000+ surveys.
  • LFXWorld - Survey results from 45 local authority leisure providers, which cover 1 - 10 gyms each

Written by Luke Hughes

CEO and Co-Founder

Join Luke on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Luke is the CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.

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