What is gym-xiety and why most Americans experience it

Image for post
Image for post
78% percent of all 2,000 respondents surveyed wish they were more physically active. (Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash)

Nearly half of Americans have gym-xiety about injuring themselves when they work out, according to new research.

The survey asked 2,000 Americans (just over 1,800 of whom exercise regularly) about what holds them back during their fitness journeys and found 46% said they get nervous while working out because they don’t want to hurt themselves.

Nearly six in 10 of these respondents also shared this injury anxiety holds them back from trying new routines.

Fifty-four percent of respondents who exercise also said they worry about possibly having incorrect form or technique and feel embarrassed when trying new routines.

In fact, this gym-xiety has even led 44% of active respondents to stop exercising altogether because they are so afraid of injuring themselves.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Rapid Reboot, the survey found that 42% of physically-active respondents have experienced an exercise injury.

The top injuries these respondents have experienced included muscle cramps (21%), muscle spasms (17%) and a sprained ankle (14%).

Despite these unfortunate circumstances, 78% percent of all 2,000 respondents surveyed wish they were more physically active.

A quarter of these respondents share the biggest hurdle that keeps them from exercising more is lack of time.

Twenty-three percent of these respondents also said they have weak knees and feel like they can’t do cardio exercises.

Two in 10 of those surveyed who want to increase their physical activity are also overwhelmed by the amount of exercise routines out there.

Despite these worries of injury and feeling overwhelmed, the top emotion physically active respondents feel during their workouts is determination.

“Getting into a great workout routine is tough, especially at the beginning,” said Robbie Jenkins, CMO of Rapid Reboot. “The right emphasis on recovery allows you to develop and enjoy a consistent routine by not only reducing your general aches and soreness, but also by preventing many common injuries.”

Another four in 10 of these respondents shared they feel confident and 34% fully embrace those exercise endorphins and feel happy when they work out.

“As we’ve worked with Olympic and professional athletes, we’ve seen firsthand that the biggest improvements in their performance comes not necessarily from training harder but recovering smarter with the right sleep, nutrition, and science-backed tools, like Rapid Reboot’s at-home compression massage technology,” added Jenkins. “The same can be said for anyone at any level, whether you’re simply exercising to be healthy or training to compete. It’s all about the right balance.”



  1. I have bad/weak knees, so I feel like I can’t go running or do cardio exercises — 23%
  2. They don’t know what exercises are best for them and their lifestyle — 22%
  3. They feel overwhelmed by the amount of exercise routines they can do — 20%
  4. They don’t want to injure themselves — 20%
  5. I have bad/weak ankles, so I don’t feel stable enough to exercise frequently — 17%
  6. I have bad/weak wrists and/or elbows, so I feel limited in the arm exercises I can do — 16%


  1. Muscle cramps — 21%
  2. Muscle spasms — 17%
  3. Sprained ankle — 14%
  4. Torn muscle — 11%
  5. Tendinitis — 10%
  6. Sprained wrist — 10%
  7. Shin splints — 9%
  8. Dislocated shoulder — 6%
  9. Dislocated knee cap — 6%
  10. Dislocated wrist — 6%
  11. Broken bone — 6%


  1. Determination — 46%
  2. Exhaustion — 42%
  3. Confidence — 40%
  4. Mental strength — 35%
  5. Happiness — 34%
  6. Enthusiasm — 32%
  7. Excitement — 30%
  8. Frustration — 25%
  9. Anxiety — 20%
  10. Judgement from others — 16%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

Written by

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store