Putting an end to gym intimidation

Victorian women are feeling unwelcome and intimated by gyms resulting in them shunning their local fitness centres and missing out on the chance to get healthy and active, new data shows.

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos has joined VicHealth Acting chief executive Dr Lyn Roberts to launch $500,000 in Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity Program grants.

VicHealth’s research shows gyms are particularly daunting for mums and women who are new to health and fitness, with more than 70 per cent of mums and 65 per cent of women new to health and fitness finding them intimidating places to workout.

Other barriers include costs of gym memberships and time pressures. Some 71 per cent of inactive women shunned the gym because of costs, while 62 per cent per cent of mums wished they had more time to get active.

That’s why the Victorian Government and VicHealth are partnering to roll out the Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity Program grants for clever initiatives or programs that offer women more options than just everyday gym memberships and classes.

Grants will be made available for things like exercise programs aimed at culturally diverse women, training for gym staff to provide a more welcoming environment, or initiatives such as women’s-only classes or workout spaces.

The latest grants will help make council owned facilities like pools, gyms and parks more inclusive and welcoming for women. In addition, grants are also available to make traditional sport more inclusive for less active, disadvantaged and culturally diverse Victorians.

Applications for the VicHealth Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity grants are open until 18 April 2019.

Source: Vic Government