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More than a third of women receive 'unwanted romantic attention' at the gym

By Tom Walker    06 Mar 2020
More than half of women said training with someone they know helps increase their comfort levels at the gym / Mindbody

More than a third (37 per cent) of women who work out at gyms and health clubs encounter unwanted romantic attention, such as requests for their phone number.

The finding is one of many from research commissioned by wellness platform Mindbody, which also revealed that the majority (57 per cent) of women have felt inappropriately looked at while at the gym.

The research – published ahead of International Women's Day on 8 march – is based on a survey by Opinium Research conducted during February 2020, from a sample size of 2,001 UK consumers.

According to the survey, having a gym buddy is one of the most effective ways to tackle the issue, with more than half (51 per cent) of women saying that training with someone they know helps with increasing their comfort levels in a gym or fitness environment.

When asked for specific measures, which would help them feel more comfortable, the most popular options among gym-going women were to introduce separate sections for men and women (23 per cent) and having same-sex instructors (15 per cent).

“We know from our conversations with gym owners that the emotional comfort of both their male and female visitors is a key priority," said Heather Garrick, spokesperson for Mindbody.

"One of the developments that illustrates this best is the rise of female-only classes and we’ve seen an increase in these being added to gym and studio timetables.

"We have also witnessed a significant rise in the number of female personal trainers in the industry and it’s interesting to note the considerable spike in-app bookings for HIIT, strength & conditioning classes, considering around 70 per cent of the subscribers to our app are female.

"This signals positive shifts in the right direction of how women engage with the fitness industry, yet, we still feel more can be done to ensure spaces are educated on training both genders in an inclusive environment."

Mindbody  Opinium Research 
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