Though 70 Percent of Women Agree the Dad Bod is Still Just as Sexy as Ever (You’re Welcome, Dads),Study Finds that Men with the Much Beloved and Universally Accepted Body Type Feel Increasingly Judged

HAMPTON, N.H. (June 16, 2021) – Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, is once again shining a spotlight on an iconic body type – the “dad bod.” As home of the Judgement Free Zone®, Planet Fitness encourages everyone to embrace themselves as they are, and for a fifth year in a row – and just ahead of Father’s Day – new insights from a national study* highlight how American men and women feel about the body type that’s defined the art of fatherhood for five straight years.

In 2017, the inaugural “dad bod” study uncovered that nearly seven in 10 women (69 percent) find dad bods attractive, and 64 percent of men with dad bods were comfortable and confident in their own skin. Today, those same figures continue to climb, with 69 percent of men with dad bods noting they are confident and comfortable with their physique, and 70 percent of women (and 52 percent of men) proclaiming they are (still) attracted to men with the body type.

But, despite a growing affinity for and universal acceptance of the body type among women (72 percent), half of all men with dad bods (50 percent) feel judged by others for their bodies – a number that’s jumped 10 percent since just last year alone.

When it comes to fatherhood, however, one of the unanticipated impacts of this past year is how the role of “dad” has changed for the better. The 2021 study found that the pandemic undoubtedly brought fathers closer to their families. Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) dads feel that they have become better parents to their children because of the pandemic, and a majority of fathers agree that their relationships with their kids (84 percent) and partner (74 percent) have only gotten stronger, as well. In the end, four in five dads (80 percent) are simply grateful for the extra time spent with their kids and families.

Additional insights surrounding men with dad bods – whether they’re lifting weights at the gym or lifting toddlers out of car seats – include:

  • Everyone Loves the Dad Bod ... More than seven in ten women (72 percent) and men (68 percent) agree that there is universal acceptance of the dad bod (up from 70 percent of women and 63 percent of men in 2018).
  • … but Men Feel Judged for Having Them. Half of men with dad bods (50 percent) feel judged by others for their bodies, and nearly half of men (47 percent) who don’t have dad bods think they would feel judged if they did have one (a figure that has gone up 11 percent since 2018).
  • Dad Bods Exude Confidence. Four out of five women (80 percent) believe a dad bod is a sign of a man who is confident in his own skin. No need for six pack abs – feel good, look good, gents.
  • It’s the Preferred Body Type. 65 percent of women and half of all men (50 percent) define the dad bod as “sexy” today. Most women would prefer to be with a man with a dad bod over someone really muscular (59 percent), and nearly half of women (48 percent) and men (44 percent) would go as far as saying that dad bods are the new six-pack.
  • Happy Dad, Happy Marriage. More than three in five Americans (64 percent) agree that men with dad bods have happier marriages – a steady increase since the inaugural study (61 percent).
  • The Sign of a Family Man. It’s no surprise, then, that men with dad bods are perceived as being family men, often described as being good husbands (30 percent), supportive (28 percent), caring (26 percent) or providers (26 percent).

“Fitness is all about being happy and healthy in your own skin, not worrying about what others might think, and our fifth annual ‘dad bod’ survey results prove just that,” said Jamie Medeiros, Vice President of Marketing at Planet Fitness. “This Father’s Day and beyond, we want to remind everyone that whether you’re heading to the gym for the first time or heading to the carpool pick-up lane for the hundredth, all are accepted and welcome at Planet Fitness.”

Planet Fitness encourages everyone to stay active and healthy at a pace that’s right for them, and its top priority is keeping its members and employees safe. The company continues to implement numerous enhanced COVID-19 safety and sanitization protocols at its well-ventilated and spacious clubs, such as:

  • Touchless check-in via the free Planet Fitness App
  • A Crowd Meter on the Planet Fitness App that allows members to check club capacity in real-time before even leaving the house
  • Increased sanitization every 20 minutes to continually clean and sanitize high-touch areas, with cleaning stations available for member use
  • Mask policies in accordance with local guidelines and more.

For more information on Planet Fitness and to find a club near you, visit


*Online survey conducted by Kelton Global to 1,005 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

About Planet Fitness
Founded in 1992 in Dover, NH, Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. As of March 31, 2021, Planet Fitness had more than 14.1 million members and 2,146 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. The Company’s mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone®. More than 95% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women.