Americans have no shortage of exercise options to get in shape, gain muscle mass, lose weight, or learn how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, those who train can be victims of harassment and abuse.
To determine the most toxic exercise communities, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the report The most negative fitness communities from fitness review site FitRated. The report analyzed more than 2 million comments posted on 16 different Reddit communities centered on certain fitness disciplines in 2021 and surveyed 1,000 active respondents who said they exercised at least once a week. Exercise communities were ranked based on the percentage of reviews with negative sentiment.
According to the FitRated report, on the 16 different Reddit communities on the list, martial arts is the community with the highest percentage of posts with negative sentiment at over 66%. Next comes powerlifting with 63% negative posts and bodybuilding at 61%. (Find out how long you need to exercise to burn calories from your favorite foods.)
About one in 40 posts/comments on online fitness forums contain profanity. The exercise community with the highest percentage of posts containing profanity is bodybuilding (5.8%), followed by martial arts (4.0%) and bodybuilding (3.9%).
In addition to toxic behaviors online, some of the abuse takes place in the exercise area, with 54% of respondents saying they were harassed at least quite often while exercising. Martial arts respondents cited the most harassment, at over 79%. Crossfit and powerlifting followed with more than 78%. (These are the laziest states in America.)
According to the FitRated report, the majority of men and women said they had been stalked by people of the same sex. However, women were more than three times more likely than men to have been bullied by other genders. Women were also more likely to say the harassment had a negative impact on their exercise routine and to have stronger feelings about a supportive fitness community.
Disciplines such as pilates, yoga, and flexibility that emphasize a positive mindset and seek to relieve stress scored lower among the most toxic exercise communities.
Click here to see the most toxic fitness environments