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  • The Intimidation Factor. Part 3

    Posted on October 15th, 2012 Patricia No comments

    The present research project

    Present research assesses how images intimidate people into not working out in an exercise facility.b Two common types of facilities have been researched: health and sports clubs and worksite-based facilities.

    Results of this research incorporated questionnaire responses from two sets of respondents 18 years and older. One sample included the general population from across the country. This group was used to measure the impact of the six representations on feelings of intimidation about using health and sports clubs (n=414). The other sample comprised employees of companies based in the Chicago area that provided on-site fitness facilities (n=312). (See Table 2 for a more complete description of the samples.)

    The questionnaire was designed to help us assess the following:

    1) The effect of the six categories of symbols on intimidation about working out in a health club and a worksite facility.

    2) How the symbols projected by the perceived typical participant affected feelings of intimidation.

    3) How the symbols projected by the type of activity at an exercise facility impacted feelings of intimidation.

    Since being overweight influenced a consumer’s feelings of intimidation, subjects were asked to assess how much they were overweight and the degree of comfort they had with their bodies. Three additional questions dealt with the degree of apprehensiveness people felt about their body when they were in public.

    Subjects responded to each question on a five-point scale (strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, unsure, somewhat agree and strongly agree). Feelings of intimidation were also measured on the same five-point scale by asking respondents to indicate their level of agreement with the following statement: I would not feel intimidated about working out there.

    Table 1 presents the questions asked on the questionnaire. The questions were the same for the worksite facility and the health club sample.

    Discussion of findings

    The six images that consumers interpreted to assess their level of intimidation with exercise facilities fell into two broad clusters.

    One group of images reflected the perception consumers had of their present physical capabilities. Within this category, age, feeling comfortable with the activity offered and feeling that they could physically handle the activity were important evaluative criteria of their present physical capabilities. Individuals who believed the projected images of exercise facilities indicated acceptance of someone with their present physical capabilities did not feel intimidated by health clubs or worksite exercise facilities.

    The second group of images related to the perception consumers had of their present physical state. Assessment of present physical state depended upon their perceived level of skill, level of knowledge, body shape and cardiovascular condition. Individuals who believed that images projected by exercise facilities indicated acceptance of them in their present physical state did not feel intimidated by health clubs or worksite exercise facilities.

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