According to new research from The Gym Group, 38% of people aged 18-29 say they have taken a gym selfie, as social media accelerates an appetite for exercise. 


The Gym Group, one of the UK’s fastest growing gym chains, surveyed more than 1000 consumers and a sample of its membership base, to understand how people see fitness as part of their identity. The research emphasised the role that social media plays in getting us motivated about exercise, with more than one in three young Britons (37%) saying they follow health and fitness accounts and half (52%) revealing that posting their own sporting progress, or seeing their friends’ fitness updates (54%) motivates them to keep fit.

The findings also showed an impressive appetite for sporting events, with 32% of young adults claiming to have completed a 10km race or half marathon, and an impressive one in 10 who say they have completed a marathon; compared to only 11% and 4% respectively, of those over 50 years old. The Gym Group anticipates these numbers will continue to grow as two thirds (66%) say working towards a sporting event is one of their biggest motivations, second to exercising with a friend (63%).

For young consumers, representing their country in a sport (42%) is an achievement they would be most proud of, above winning a Nobel Prize (28%), being in a blockbuster movie (27%) or having a number one hit song (25%). Fitness is now an established credential for young people, as 46% say it is part of their identity. 49% say they include their sporting ability in their CV's or would talk about it on a date (48%). Fitness is also a desirable trait in a potential partner with 68% of young consumers saying an active gym goer makes for a more appealing partner.

Whilst nearly three quarters of those aged 18-49 (72%) say that intelligence is the most important attribute in a potential partner, 40% say they find someone who is physically fit/athletic particularly attractive, more so than their other half being wealthy (23%) or being up to date with politics and current affairs (25%). Runners and cyclists were deemed most attractive, coming above rowers and skiers.