The TOWIE effect: Vanity taking its toll on women’s health, as appearance becomes more important than fitness
19:12 GMT, 18 April 2012
Tens of thousands of young women are risking their health for the sake of their vanity, research suggests.
Around two fifths (41 per cent) of 18-24
year olds questioned, admitted they worried more about their physical appearance than their fitness levels.
Experts now believe this 'worrying' trend could have long-term health effects, as previous studies have linked inactivity to obesity, cancer and psychological distress.
In a bid to emulate celebrities such as the TOWIE cast an increasing amount of women are shunning exercise and concentrating on their physical appearance (pictured Amy Childs, Sam Faiers and Jessica Wright)
More than one in ten of the 2,000 females questioned said unflattering gym gear put them off exercising (14 per cent), while 16 per cent admitted that they were worried about ruining their hair and makeup during a workout.
Emma Hyatt from Cancer Research UK’s
Race for Life, which commissioned the YouGov survey in partnership with Tesco, said: ‘It is worrying to hear that so many women don’t
manage to do exercise every week as around 3,000 cancers every year are
linked to people being inactive.
'Many scientific studies have
shown that people who are active are less likely than inactive people to
develop breast, bowel and womb cancer.'
Worrying trend: 16 per cent of the women surveyed admitted they were worried about ruining their hair and makeup during a workout
More than two thirds of women (70 per
cent) surveyed admitted that they don’t even do the ‘minimum’ daily
recommended amount of exercise every week which is essential for
maintaining long-term good health.
JO HEMMING'S TIPS TO KEEP FIT AND LOOK GOOD
With its transition from gym to street wear, exercise clothing has
never been more fashionable or diverse. There is something out there to
suit everyone – of all ages and all sizes.Think of exercise as a means to an end, both in health and appearance
terms. For example, regular walking – whether on the street or on a
treadmill– will give you firm and toned calves – perfect for wearing
those high heels!
Exercise releases endorphins; the body’s natural mood enhancer and
knowing that you feel good can really lift both your inner self-esteem
and your outer self-confidence boosting the way that you look to others
exercising, simply wearing your hair clipped into an ‘up-do’, a tinted
moisturizer, lip gloss and a slick of waterproof mascara means you can
still get fit without compromising on the way that you look!
Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings said: ‘These statistics show that there is a disturbing trend for young women to place a higher value on their physical appearance rather than on their long term health, yet these days there is no need to have to sacrifice the way you look in order to maintain your fitness.
'It’s all a question of balance and understanding that you can look good whilst still managing to fit a simple, regular and effective exercise routine into your busy life.
‘Making simple daily lifestyle changes such as swapping your high heels on the way to work for a pair of stylish but comfortable ballet flats can make day to day activity much more achievable and help ease you into a more active lifestyle'
A recent study by Oregon State University in the U.S. which analysed the fitness regimes of a wide-ranging sample of people, also found women are less active than men.
It found that men exercised for 30 minutes a day on average, while women only took 18 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day.
Lead researcher Paul Loprinzi said that the results of the study were worrying for women, as it put them at a much higher risk of developing physical and psychological ailments.
'Those who get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol and less likely to have metabolic syndrome,.'