Low self esteem and body confidence are fuelling love life and fitness fears

New research by AXA PPP healthcare reveals that fears borne of low self-esteem and body confidence are causing love lives to suffer and stopping the UK’s working population from being more active.

9 February 2018

Posted in Landing page

by John DuBois (see media contact)

  • Nearly half (45%) of working Brits admit that their fears have adversely affected their love lives, with nearly a third of them (32%) saying they’re troubled by fear of rejection¹
  • A third (33%) say their fears are frustrating their sex lives, with a third of them (33%) fearful of being seen naked
  • And nearly half (46%) of working Brits fear keeping fit with others because of low self-esteem, body image issues and embarrassment²
  • To help to remedy this, AXA PPP healthcare has launched a new campaign – Own Your Fears – to encourage people to harness their fears into a motivating force for a happier, healthier future

New research by AXA PPP healthcare reveals that fears borne of low self-esteem and body confidence are causing love lives to suffer and stopping the UK’s working population from being more active. To help people harness their fears into a motivating force to live the life they want to lead, AXA PPP healthcare has launched a new campaign – Own Your Fears. Encouragingly, nearly three-quarters (73%) of the working people the healthcare company surveyed¹ believe it’s possible for fear to be used in a positive way.

Nearly half (45%) of the working Brits AXA PPP polled say their fears have adversely affected their love lives. Of these, nearly a third (32%) say they don’t approach people for fear of being rejected – men (52%) more so than women (48%). 15% say their fears stop them committing to relationships – men (57%) more so than women (43%). 1 in 6 (17%) say their fears have even led to their losing the love of their life. On the other hand, nearly a third (31%) admit their fears have led to their staying in an unhealthy or toxic relationship.

A third (33%) of working Brits say that their fears are affecting their sex lives too. Of these, a third (33%) are fearful of being seen naked – women (70%) more so than men (30%). Notably, 1 in 5 (20%) millennials aged 18-34 rank ‘being seen naked’ a top fear – more so than older age groups, indicating such reticence dwindles with age. Comparing ourselves with others is another source of bedroom fear – 19% of those whose sex lives are affected by fear compare themselves with their partner’s exes while 13% do it with celebrities. Over a third (36%) admit their fears leave them feeling too anxious and stressed for sex.

When it comes to working out with others, nearly half (46%) of working Brits say low self-esteem, body image issues and embarrassment leave them fearful to join in. And 1 in 10 (11%) say they’re afraid of being seen wearing gym gear.

“Our fears stem from feeling threatened and wanting to protect ourselves from that threat is normal. All of us have fears, whether it’s fear of failure, fear of being laughed at in ill-fitting sweaty gym clothes or fear of not achieving our aims or being the person we thought we’d be. But, if we can turn these negative thoughts that create our fears into motivation, they don’t have to hold us back. For example, fearing rejection and believing we’re not good enough can stop us from enjoying nurturing, loving relationships or from ending relationships that have turned sour. Similarly, avoiding committing to loving someone can mean that we miss out on the plusses of a mutually-rewarding, long term relationship.

“Finding time to be active around the working day and our commitments to family and friends can be challenging enough, without low self esteem and embarrassment about our looks or fitness adding another barrier. Instead, I’m urging people to harness these sometimes irrational fears and use them as a driving force to make positive choices for a happier, healthier life.” [Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services]

To find out how fears can hold us back and watch Dr Winwood’s video about ‘How to set your fear’ so you can turn it into a motivating tool, visit AXA PPP healthcare’s Own Your Fears website: www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/ownyourfears.

¹Research of 2005 working people undertaken December 2017 by Vitreous World for AXA PPP healthcare

²Research of 1000 working people undertaken August 2017 by 3Gem for AXA PPP healthcare