The gym is about more than just exercise. Find out 9 surprising stats which might just make you think differently about that gym membership.

1. Your salary influences your gym habits

Apparently the bigger your salary the more likely you are to go to the gym. The study of 1,600 participants by healthcare charity Nuffield Health found that people on less than £20,000 a year use the gym for an average of an hour a week, whilst those earning towards the higher end of the scale would use the gym for three hours per week on average.

2. People use the gym to pick up dates

Forget Tinder, apparently the gym is the place to get yourself a date. A study commissioned by Kettler sampled 2,000 participants and 50 per cent said they only go the gym to check out the opposite sex or meet friends. Almost a third of those who took part in the survey admitted that they never even broke sweat at the gym. Another study conducted by Nuffield Health found that 10.5 per cent of members actually live with someone they met at the gym.

3. Gym goers likely to eat more chocolate

Maybe it’s the hunger pangs after a workout, but according to Market Research World , gym goers are more likely to eat chocolate than non gym goers.  The findings suggest that if you are a regular at the gym, then you are 18 per cent more likely to indulge in chocolate bars than those who steer clear of the gym. Perhaps all the couch potatoes are too stuffed with takeaways to eat a chocolate bar?

4. If you quit easily at the gym then it could be in your genes

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you quit far too easily down the gym as it is possible it might be genetic.  Researchers at Iowa State University have suggested that your ability to withstand pain and exertion from exercise could genetically influenced. The finding were that for those people with low ventilatory thresholds - that point at which your breathing becomes laboured and you feel you just can’t draw in as much air as your body wants - exercise caused a drop in mood and increased propensity to quit working out earlier than those with high ventilatory thresholds.

5. Redundant gym memberships outstrip active memberships

Gym memberships aren’t cheap but it is amazing how many people choose to throw away good money on a membership they don’t use. Despite the expense it is thought that around 80 per cent of Americans who have a gym membership do not use the gym, and if this sort of pattern is followed around the world then then that’s a lot of money unecessarily going down the drain.

6. Gym membership stats might surprise

At times it feels as though everyone has a gym membership, but is this really backed up by the stats? In the United States around 45 million adults (approx. 14 per cent of the population) have a gym membership, while in the UK 4.5 million adults (approx. 7 per cent of the population) have a membership. Thought it would be more?

7. Frequency of gym use by the average Joe

If your frequency of gym use makes you feel guilty, then how do you think you stack up when compared to everyone else? According to Fitness For Weightloss the average gym member goes to the gym twice a week. Still feeling guilty? Is this evidence enough to make you up your game and visit the gym more frequently?

8. New year good intentions never last

That post-festive period when you start out full of good intentions often never last. In fact, around 12 per cent of gym members sign up in January, and according to the Fitness Industry Association, most people have quit or stop going after 24 weeks. Many more would probably have quit earlier if they weren’t tied up to a 6-month contract!

9. People lie about going to the gym

Quite where they go and what they get up to, we can only guess, but it seems that some gym members like to lie about going the gym. Around 13 per cent of the 2,000 who took part in a study commissioned by Kettler said that instead of going the gym when they say they are, they actually go somewhere else.