Research Results: ‘What Works for Us’

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you will know that I am extremely passionate about inspiring people to move without a fear of being judged for what they might look like doing it. I believe that we can improve our nation’s health, but in a more positive way than the shaming-based approaches generally undertaken at the moment.

You may also have recently read my pieces where I expressed the belief that current obesity research and statistics did not represent ‘me’, as an obese person (based on BMI calculations), and my determination to get some alternate statistics. Although recently publishing the blog piece ‘Here’s What we Want you to Know About Us’, I wanted to provide the raw data from the study so people can locate them and therefore reference them easier if they so choose. Please ensure if using the information you reference it to this blog site and its author, Leah Gilbert, accordingly.

Number of survey respondents: 100

88 Respondents classed themselves as larger/plus size in physical form

12 Respondents did not class themselves as larger/plus size in physical form

Method: Survey Monkey self-designed survey

Q2. In a typical week, how many days do you exercise?

I Don’t Exercise Regularly – 18%

Once a Week – 5%

2 to 4 days a Week – 39%

5 to 7 days a Week – 38%

Q3. What Scenario do you feel motivates you more to be active?

Seeing other larger people enjoying being active – 77.89%

Knowing you are accountable to a trainer/fitness specialist for your training – 32%

Being told by a friend/relative/loved one that you need to lose weight – 2%

Being told by a healthcare professional that you need to lose weight – 4%

Q4. In a fitness and health context, what overall focus and performance indicators do you believe best works for you?

Food monitoring and weight loss – 9%

Less food monitoring and more fitness/physical performance gains – 46

A combination of the above – 48%

Q5. How important do you feel a Body-Positive (i.e. judgement free, focus on fitness results, actively discourage unhealthy diet behaviours, health at every size ethos) is to long term participation in physical activity?

Moderately important – 15%

Extremely important – 85%

Q6. What do you believe are the main barriers to fitness experienced by larger people?

Financial – 18.37%

Lack of available infrastructure in local community (e.g. walking paths, swimming pools, etc) – 27.55%

Fear of being judged for lack of fitness and/or size – 92.86%

OTHER RESPONSES (direct quotes):

* being intimidated- “I can’t do that class, it looks too tough”

* Lack of proper training and education starting from a young age (resulting in bad and difficult to break habits).

* Lack of knowledge

* clothing sizes

* clothing sizes

* Emotional or psychological issues that they need to deal with

* Finding sports specific clothing/technical clothes

* Time management

* Not finding an exercise they enjoy, the perception that getting fit is unpleasant, past failures make it seem futile and hopeless

* Advertising does not reflect body diversity, so people don’t feel welcomed

* Cultural barriers; e.g. friends and family in similar situations, trainers that don’t think to compensate for difficulties that larger people experience, not knowing where or how to start and not feel overwhelmed.

* It does vary and I also think education is one.

* a body in rest tends to stay in rest, overcoming homeostasis is a difficult thing to do

* Doctors’ assumptions about my fitness level and physical abilities. Either sending me off to do P90x or telling me that it is dangerous for me to run, for example.

* Not believing in their ability and also finding workout clothes that fit.

* Lack of healthy option infrastructure – Access to Grocery – Access to unprocessed foods. – Access to foods not ingrained with uneccessary sugars.

* Not enough of examples of other people of size doing same

* In the UK, inability to buy suitable fitness clothing

* Finding appropriate clothes/equipment

* being self conscious about size in general, difficulty finding appropriate clothing

Q7. Do you believe the media’s portrayal of obesity statistics and larger people is more or less likely to encourage a larger person to start undertaking physical activity?

More likely – 5.38%

Less likely – 94.62%

Q8. Do you believe current research on obesity and weight is representative of your experiences as a larger person?

Yes – 4.04%

No – 60.61%

Not Sure – 36.36%

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