New research from Transform has shown how over a quarter of Brits (26%) have seen their body confidence fall since lockdown restrictions were implemented, with 6.8 million people now seeing this affect their performance at work.
One in 10 (10%) Brits believe they are not doing well at work due to their loss of confidence. Almost a quarter of UK workers (22%) have stopped putting their camera on during video calls due to their fall in self-esteem, and a further one in four people (25%) are finding it hard to tackle everyday tasks.
The survey, which discovered how the nations body confidence has been affected by the UK lockdowns, found that the main causes of confidence loss included:
- Weight gain (64%)
- Putting less effort into appearance (44%)
- Not eating as healthy (23%)
- Lack of positive feedback (20%)
- Regularly seeing yourself during video meetings (20%)
More men than women have seen their work affected by lockdown (14% vs 8%) , but significantly more women have lost overall confidence (34% vs 17%).
Millennials (25-34s) had seen the biggest negative impact on their confidence, with a third (34%) reporting a loss of body confidence. This was closely followed by three in ten (30%) 18-24-year olds. Just 12% of those aged 65+ claimed to lose any confidence in their appearance during lockdown.
The survey also showed how body confidence loss is affecting other areas of people’s day-to-day lives, stopping them from:
- Buying new clothes (48%)
- Posting pictures on social media (33%)
- Following their usual self-care routine (29%)
- Going out with friends – when permitted (27%)
- Trying new things (16%)
The cities where the most residents reported a drop in body confidence were:
- Wrexham (57%)
- Middlesbrough (50%)
- Southampton (44%) and Gloucester (44%)
- Belfast (40%)
- Leicester (38%)
Mark Nichols, 30, has felt his confidence fall in both the first and second lockdown. He said, “I live alone, so lockdown combined with working from home can leave me feeling demotivated and sapped of energy. This has had a big effect on my confidence, which has then started to affect my work.
“During the summer I was able to go into the office a few days a week, and it made a huge difference. Now our offices are shut, and I know my productivity and work are suffering, because I’m constantly distracted and anxious about what might happen next.”