THIS JUST in: A Canadian study about women and fitness just wrapped up and the results appear in various news stories from USA Today to Canadian broadcasters. Their conclusion? Women are VERY uneasy about changing---and especially being seen naked---in the locker room.
According to Marianne Clark , a Phd candidate who interviewed women visiting various fitness venues, dropping trou (or even seeing other women do so) may be more intimidating than the prospect of running five miles on a treadmill. Those interviewed cited a number of reasons, ranging from the awkwardness of encountering someone they know from work while either is in the nude, to the close proximity of others on changing room benches.
Keep in mind that all this "awkwardness" took place in single-sex dressing areas. Self doubts about how their bodies measured up to other women appeared to be a factor, but also keep in mind that all of those interviewed exercised regularly. Most were quoted in the article as describing themselves "fit."
So what's the problem? No guys checking them out. No significant weight or fitness issues. What then? Just the everyday awkwardness of being naked around someone else! Interestingly, the writers of the article rounded out their story with interviews of several men who expressed similar sentiments, including a thirty-something man who would rather "drive home stinky" than use a gym shower.
Both genders describe changing in the bathroom stalls and fitness facilities are sure to take notice. Can individual changing cubicles be far in the future? They're probably already in some places although it would seem to complicate mopping the floor, vacuming, and create a lot of extra walls to clean.
Does nudity "scare" you? Why not start by disrobing in the comfort and privacy of your own home? Maybe you can progress to taking a little more time in your after-workout regimen including a trip to the shower. Bare Platypus is fairly certain that anyone else present won't bite.