This conclusion was reached by Kiemute Oyibo, a researcher from the University of Waterloo (Canada).
Oyibo’s study involved 669 volunteers. They were asked to rate how motivated they were to start exercising using a fitness app using five different messages.
Messages had to be ranked on a scale of one to seven, with one being “the message does not motivate me to start or continue exercising at all,” and seven being “the message is completely motivating me to start or continue exercising.”
The first focused on finances and informed participants that physical inactivity costs Canadian taxpayers nearly seven billion dollars annually.
The second was about obesity and reported that one in four Canadians suffers from it.
The third was about death – according to statistics from the World Health Organization, six percent of deaths worldwide are associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
The fourth talked about illness, with a quote from British statesman Edward Stanley as a warning: “He who has no time for sport will have to find time for illness.” Finally, the fifth message addressed social stigma by asking participants how they felt about the statement: “Stigmatizing people with obesity is comparable to racial discrimination.”
As a result, it turned out that the main motivators that encourage both men and women to start training are fear of death and illness. These two messages scored the maximum number of points.
What worries people the least is the prospect of social rejection due to their poor physical fitness.