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“I started designing Activewear because I wanted to change the way women lived their lives – and you know what – I think it’s working!” Lorna Jane Clarkson
It’s been roughly 5 years since I first made this statement, and I can safely say that we’re wearing our Activewear now more than ever before – but the big question is:
Does it actually motivate us to be more Active?
I say ‘Yes’ (and not because I’m Lorna Jane) but because I’ve seen and experienced it first-hand time and time again. But don’t just take my word for it, let’s see what we can find to back up my theory.
A quick Google search tells me that a survey of over 2000 gym goers showed that 69 percent of them stated that having nice workout clothes helped push them to exercise.
I found a study in 2017 by the Victoria University which indicated that the very act of wearing Activewear could help encourage physical activity. I reached out to Principal researcher Professor Clare Hanlon, Susan Alberti Women in Sport Chair, at Victoria University, and this is what she had to say:
“Women in Australia want to make healthier choices. Sometimes the first step is actually associating with it and wearing something that makes them feel comfortable and confident”. - Professor Clare Hanlon, Susan Alberti Women in Sport Chair, at Victoria University
In my research I also found a quote from Sarah McMahon Psychologist and Director of BodyMatters Australasia where she stated:
“By simply wearing active wear we vicariously experience some of the benefits of exercise by association. People report feeling fitter, healthier and even more active when wearing active wear, regardless of their actual behaviour”.
Of course, I then got in touch with Sarah who told me:
“Activewear makes physical movement more accessible and this can absolutely increase the opportunity to move more than someone who is not wearing activewear. Activewear removes a barrier to participating in physical activity given the wearer is capable of moving their body freely. Barriers such as having to change attire or be limited by existing clothing items, such as high heels, are immediately removed.” - Sarah McMahon Psychologist and Director of BodyMatters Australasia
And, interestingly I also found a study done by yoghurt brand Chobani, showing that respondents indicated they were more inclined to making healthier eating choices whilst wearing Activewear as well. Theory supported? I think so!
And now that we’ve all quickly changed into our Activewear (if we weren’t in it already!) Let’s talk about how what we wear can affect our mindset.
The official term for this is ‘ENCLOTHED COGNITION’ which was coined by Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky. Scientists say that it’s the mental shift you experience when you wear certain clothes. For example: putting on a power suit to make you feel more confident for your big presentation, wearing your lucky socks to ensure the win in your soccer grand final and putting on your Activewear when you want to feel (and be) more active.
But for those that need a little more convincing, here’s how it works:
We associate Activewear with being active so by wearing it we’re more likely to get moving though the day and are more mindful about making healthy choices. We’re more comfortable so we take the stairs rather than the elevator or walk to someone’s desk at work rather than send an email. It’s also easier to transition between work and workout so we can head straight to the gym after work without being distracted by going home to change and possibly not working out at all!
On a personal note, I know that the simple act of putting on my Activewear in the morning has changed how I live my life - from a more sedentary one to one that allows me to be more flexible and find ways to move my body throughout the day. Still not convinced! Give it a try and see for yourself! Wear your Activewear each day for a month and see if it motivates you to find ways to be more active throughout your day.