What annoys Aussies at the gym?

Overcrowding, sweaty equipment and smelly changing facilities are amongst the most annoying things about going to the gym, a new Canstar Blue survey has found.

When asked about their gym-going grievances, just 13% of almost 1,000 respondents said they don’t have any reason to complain, with issues ranging from bad music to loud grunting and people generally being annoying.

“Millions of Australians turn to gyms in a bid to improve their health and fitness, but picking the wrong one for your personal preferences could turn out to be a nightmare,” said Head of Canstar Blue, Megan Doyle.

“Not everyone likes rap music or wants to see men flexing their muscles in front of mirrors, so it’s important to get a good idea about a gym chain before signing up to an expensive contract.

“Australians are spending an average of $65 per month on their gym memberships, but more than half of people don’t go as much as they thought they would. So you really need to do your research before jumping in.”

Overcrowding is a cause of complaint for 48% of surveyed gym-goers, followed by:

  • Sweaty equipment (e.g. people not using a towel): 36%
  • The gym being smelly or untidy: 32%
  • People not resetting or replacing equipment: 31%
  • Dirty or smelly changing facilities: 30%
  • Loud grunting from people working out: 24%
  • People showing off (e.g. flexing muscles): 22%

Other complaints relate to music or TV choices, equipment not working properly, people using mobile phones, and people staring or trying to start conversations.

There were also numerous complaints reported about general antisocial behaviour, such as people ‘hogging’ or preventing the use of equipment, or being heavy-handed with weights.

Who complains most?

The survey found that 90% of female gym members have at least one complaint, compared with 83% of men.

While overcrowding is the most commonly reported issue for both sexes, women (51%) are more likely to raise concerns than men (42%). Women are also more likely to complain about people staring or trying to start conversations, dirty or smelly facilities, and people showing off.

By age group, younger gym-goers are more likely to complain about overcrowding and dirty or smelling facilities, while older gym members are more likely to get frustrated by music or TV choices and sweaty equipment.

Does gym membership work out?

While 87% of survey respondents have at least one reason to complain about their gym, the good news is that three-quarters of adults (74%) said their gym membership has helped them to achieve their personal health or fitness goals. That is despite 52% of members admitting they don’t go the gym as much as they thought they would.

In addition, 57% of adults said they have tried more than one gym chain.

Which are the highest rated gym chains?

Survey respondents scored their gym chain across a number of categories to form Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings. Nine major gym chains featured in the results, but only Jetts received a five star review for overall satisfaction.

“There will always be something about a gym that annoys you, whether it’s the music, the people, or the way the showers work. The trick is to find a gym that best meets your personal preferences for working out, and these ratings are a helpful guide,” said Mrs Doyle.

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