Canadians are more intimidated by going to the gym than meeting their in-laws. GoodLife Fitness and ParticipACTION are joining forces to change that.

New Ipsos Reid poll reveals insights into Canadians' exercise apprehension.

LONDON, ON, April 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Four out of 10 Canadians are intimated to go to the gym, and nearly two of those four (19 per cent) found the experience to be very intimidating, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of GoodLife Fitness and ParticipACTION. The survey also found that milestones like the first day of school or work (17 per cent) or meeting their in-laws (12 per cent), were less intimidating than going to the gym for the first time.  

The good news is more than half (52%) of respondents said bringing a friend would make the gym less intimidating. So, to make it easier for Canadians to bring a friend and to help them reduce their gym apprehensions, GoodLife Fitness and ParticipACTION have teamed up to offer seven consecutive days of free access to all GoodLife Fitness clubs across the country. Canadians can sign up for a free 7-day pass any time between April 25 and May 1. The ParticipACTION Open House at GoodLife also gives Canadians access to all Énergie Cardio clubs in Quebec.

"We've long known that someone who has never worked out in a gym may have some uneasiness about coming to the club for the first time," says David 'Patch' Patchell-Evans, Founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness. "That's why we're opening our doors to Canadians – so they can try the gym with their friends - and show them the caring and welcoming atmosphere in our clubs as well as the programs and support that is available to them as they take that first step towards a fit and healthy good life," continues Patch.

"Modern life gets in the way of getting active, but it doesn't have to be that way," says Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION.  "The 150 minutes of physical activity adults need each week don't have to be done all at once.  Even small increases in physical activity can make you healthier, and it's never too early or too late to get started."

The survey discovered the main reasons Canadians felt apprehension about joining a fitness club. The top reasons include:

  • 38 per cent were afraid other people would watch them
  • 33 per cent were worried because they don't know what they're doing
  • 30 per cent are intimidated because they don't know anyone


"The short truth of it is, no one is looking at you in a negative way or critiquing you," says Patch. "When our Associates and long-term members see a new face, they are delighted and more often than not, they are remembering when they started their own fitness journey. Regulars at the gym are excited for others to experience the incredible benefits of an active lifestyle." Patch explained.   

Participants who sign up for a seven-day pass will receive a digital Get Started Kit which includes valuable information about physical activity.

The kit contains information about free tools available to them when they come into the club, including: orientations to GoodLife's Fit-Fix® strength training circuit and cardio equipment, the opportunity to sit down with a certified Personal Trainer for a complimentary Personal Health Profile, and Group Fitness orientations which give people the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of working out in a group setting, while also receiving the guidance of an instructor.

More Survey Highlights

  • Coastal Canadians most apprehensive. British Columbians are most likely to be intimidated by working out at the gym (51 per cent), with Atlantic Canadians (47 per cent) and Albertans (44 per cent) close behind.
  • The older you are, the less intimidated you feel. Forty-five per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 say they are intimidated by going to the gym, followed by those aged 35-54 (39 per cent) and 55+ (37 per cent).
  • Men are more gym-comfortable than women. Only 28 per cent of men say they feel intimidated by visiting their local fitness club, compared with half (50 per cent) of women.


Canadians interested in taking advantage of the Free ParticipACTION Open House at GoodLife Fitness can sign up online at:

About GoodLife Fitness
Proudly Canadian since 1979, GoodLife Fitness is the largest fitness club chain in Canada and the fourth largest overall in the world. With over 365 clubs from coast-to-coast, including GoodLife Fitness, Énergie Cardio, Fit4Less by GoodLife and ÉconoFitness Clubs, approximately 14,400 employees and more than 1.25 million Members, GoodLife is helping to transform the health and wellness of 1 in 28 Canadians every day.

About ParticipACTION
ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization that helps Canadians sit less and move more.  Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION works with its partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to make physical activity a vital part of everyday life.  ParticipACTION is generously supported by the Government of Canada.  For more information, please visit

Media Opportunity
Experts from GoodLife Fitness and ParticipACTION are available for interviews about the survey and to provide the best ways that Canadians can use to get started with exercise. Local video footage inside a GoodLife Club can be can be recorded upon request and approval from GoodLife's Media Relations team.

About the Survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 25 and 29, 2016, on behalf of GoodLife Fitness and ParticipACTION. For this survey, a sample of 1504 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled.

SOURCE GoodLife Fitness

For further information: Media Contacts: Adam Roberts, Public Relations Senior Specialist, GoodLife Fitness,, C: 226-377-1815; Katherine Janson, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, ParticipACTION, 416-913-1471,; Renaud Beaudry, Director of Marketing and Communications, Énergie Cardio, 450-979-3623 ext. 2305,


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