Many people are struggling to come to terms with how their bodies look after almost a year of national lockdowns and restrictions. Having to rely on outdoor walks and home workouts just aren’t motivating enough for many, with new research revealing how the past year has taken its toll on British men; leading to weight gain, unhappiness with physique, and a severe lack of body confidence.

A study conducted on behalf of plus-sized male clothing company www.bigdudeclothing.co.uk polled more than 2,000 British males between the ages of 18-35 for their thoughts on body confidence and how the national lockdowns has affected them. Of those polled, the majority (78%) revealed that they were regular gym-goers and/or took part in regular fitness-based activities prior to the start of the pandemic.

All participants were asked if they considered themselves to be ‘body confident’ at the present time, with 67% stating that they were feeling increasingly self-conscious about aspects of their body or physical appearance. Whilst the remaining respondents claimed to be happy with their bodies, more than half (51%) admitted they’ll have to put some work in once gyms reopen to get back to their favoured physique.

When the males experiencing low body confidence during lockdown were asked to reveal the issues they were most bothered by, the following answers emerged as most common:

  1.       I have a beer belly – 39%
  2.       I have man boobs – 31%
  3.       I have excessive body hair – 24%
  4.       I am balding – 14%
  5.       My skin is causing me problems – 11%

When asked if their low body confidence had been causing any issues with their personal relationships, 19% confessed that their sex drive had lowered, whilst 14% felt that their relationship with a partner was on the rocks or at risk of breaking down due to their self-esteem issues. What’s more, over a fifth (21%) confessed to researchers that they were wary of leaving the home or risk letting others see them at the present time, and 8% were increasingly finding that their old clothes no longer fit them correctly.

As the government continues to roll out Covid-19 vaccinations across the UK and the end of lockdown is in sight, many relevant participants admitted they are planning to planning to take control of their eating habits (37%) and improve their fitness levels (28%) in the coming weeks before a semblance of normal life is resumed.

Darrell Freeman, MD and Founder of Big Dude Clothing, commented:

“Nowadays, and particularly during a global pandemic, we are spending a large amount of free time on social media coping with high levels of boredom. This, coupled with comfort eating and a lack of physical activity has led to many people to feel pressured by the unattainable physical perfection of ‘insta-perfect’ bodies, with males are just as easily susceptible to feeling a low mood and lack of confidence as their female counterparts.

“As made clear by recent interviews featuring TOWIE star James ‘Arg’ Argent discussing how much he has struggled with comfort eating and low confidence during lockdown, it’s an extremely common issue that so many males are experiencing during such a tough time. There should be no shame in getting out of shape, and men shouldn’t feel ashamed or insecure if they don’t look or feel their best right now. It’s important to feel happy and embrace the positive aspects of life, no matter what size you may be.”

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