People in Belfast have a higher level of body confidence compared to the rest of the UK.
That’s despite being the city that exercises the least – with two and a half hours of activity a week, when the average across the UK is almost three hours.
Three in ten people here say they are not body confident, compared to over 4 in ten people across the UK – most of whom say low body confidence has affected their love and social life.
It’s according to new research from the leisure operator, Better, which shows that exercise is a key factor in fluctuations in body confidence.
They found that half of the women surveyed said they aren’t confident about their bodies, compared to over a third of men.
It was also revealed that the 35-44 age bracket is the least body confident age bracket overall.
Pressure from peers, social media and film and television were the top three contributors behind low body confidence across the UK.
Leeds was found to be the least body confident city, where more than half (57.6%) saying they struggle with the issue.
It’s shortly followed by Cardiff (56.6%) and Edinburgh, where exactly half struggle with poor body confidence.
Just under half of the respondents in Leicester and Sheffield said they aren’t body confident.
“In a day where image is so important, and where social media perpetuates this importance, it’s hard to feel confident if you don’t conform to 90% of what is sold to you as attractive,” said the body disorder activist Daren Pritchard.
“If you’re struggling, talk to someone. Men traditionally find it hard to talk about their mental health, but it rarely goes away unless you seek help. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.”
“Figures like these highlight the work that needs to be done to get people to feel comfortable in their own skin. Whether this be through support from peers or working hard on mental and physical health, we need to be more open, honest and supportive, especially considering the impact modern media can have on our minds,” said Leon Popplewell, a Better Community Sports Manager.