A pancreas that hurts, exercising in my dreams, and a stubbed pinky toe—these are all creative excuses people have used in order to get out of going to the gym.

A new survey examined how enthused 2,000 Americans were to exercise—and it revealed the weird and common excuses people give for staying home.

The survey results found that being too tired (63%), being too hot (39%), too cold (39%) or recently eating (31%) were all in the top five list of excuses.

Other common excuses included being too busy at work, phone battery being low, gym clothes not matching, and claiming that picking up the kids qualified as a workout!

28% of participants blamed their laziness on the lack of fun involved in working out, while others complained about “getting too sweaty,” “never seeing results,” and “feeling judged at the gym.”

But, these are some of the most amusing of them all:


1. My cat is depressed
2. I had to take my son’s bicycle into service
3. I exercised in my dreams
4. I stubbed my pinky toe
5. My pancreas hurts
6. I took Viagra and am too engorged to wear workout clothes

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Peerfit also provided indicators on what creates workout success and how people can power through the temptation to make excuses.

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Accountability and the worry of letting someone else down could be the keys to resisting the desire to come up with excuses. 65% of respondents admitted they’d be more likely to actually make it to the gym if they planned to go with someone else. Furthermore, more than half of those polled say they actually work out better when sweating away their struggles with a buddy.

Too tired – 63%
Too hot – 39%
Too cold – 39%
Too much work – 35%
Just ate – 31%
Walked a lot today – 27%
Recovering from last workout – 27%
Gym will be too crowded – 22%
Taking care of my kids – 17%
Gym is too out of the way – 17%
Climbed a lot of stairs today – 15%
No clean workout clothes – 15%
I have a meeting tomorrow – 15%
I feel self conscious today – 14%
I just got my hair done – 12%
Picking up my kids is my workout – 10%
My phone battery is too low – 10%
I just got my nails done – 9%

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“We know that when you work out with your co-workers, friends or family you’re not only more likely to actually go, but you’re likely to enjoy it more because you’re getting to know someone better,” said Peerfit CEO, Ed Buckley, III, PhD. “We know sometimes it can be hard to stick with a wellness program, but that’s what your support system of co-workers and friends are there for.”

Yet, it is still a struggle for many to devote time to fitness. 35% in this poll said they can’t make it to the gym because they have too much work on their plates.

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But for those who are able to overcome excuses, or do workouts at home, the success is sweet. Yoga has been shown to improve people’s moods; swimming has been linked to pain relief; exercise helps to fend off dementia; and going for a simple walk has been been shown to improve creativity.

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