#DramaticTransformation: Asics wants to focus on the power of excercise on the mind

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With the hashtag #DramaticTransformation, launched on World Mental Health Day, ASICS challenges society's notion of exercise for the sole purpose of physical change. In fact, the research, part of a new ASICS campaign, proves that regular exercise boosts mental health.

Despite the growing movement for "Insta reality" on social media, the pressure on having to share the perfect picture remains adamant for many people. From squats in the gym to that final sprint after an energetic run, people are all too happy to post how great their workout has been. Before and after photos fill our timeline on a daily basis and show us the most spectacular physical transformations and achievements. One would think this a good motivation to get back into exercise, but new research1 conducted by ASICS, in honor of World Mental Health Day, shows that these images do not positively contribute to our mental health. As a matter of fact, half of Dutch people think sharing these images should be banned.


With the hashtag #DramaticTransformation, launched on World Mental Health Day, ASICS challenges society's notion of exercise for the sole purpose of physical change - a purpose that is usually emphasized when it comes to working out. In fact, a third of Dutch people become insecure about their bodies by seeing before and after photos. More than two-thirds believe that society's obsession with the perfect body image harms our mental health. In collaboration with Abbey Hoes, ASICS, therefore, wants to focus on the power of exercise on the mind.

The better feeling often felt after a workout is no mere coincidence. In fact, the research, part of a new ASICS campaign, proves that regular exercise boosts mental health. It elevates your mood, improves sleep, helps reduce stress, and reduces the risk of depression2. Working out after spending the day on your laptop seems to have more advantages than disadvantages. Yet, still, the culture of before and after photos keeps people from being active. In fact, 70% of Dutch people are more likely to be demotivated by seeing physical transformation photos than being motivated by such images. ASICS wants to change that.

In the images above, shot by photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor, we see Abbey before and after a workout. While no drastic physical change can be seen, ASICS wants to clarify that not all the benefits of exercise are immediately apparent or visible. With the images, ASICS challenges people to experience the positive effects of exercise on the mind. Every workout can contribute to experiencing a mental uplift.

Abbey Hoes: "Together with ASICS, I want to make it clear, today, on World Mental Health Day, that sports and exercise are not only good for the physical condition of your body. It's a shame that many people get demotivated by seeing other people's before and after pictures. I like to exercise to feel fit and clear my head because I always feel better after a workout. You can see that in the photos. With this beautiful campaign, I hope to inspire others to exercise, especially for their mental health."

Gary Raucher, EVP, ASICS EMEA: "ASICS stands for Anima Sana in Corpore Sano - a healthy mind in a healthy body. ASICS EMEA is committed to this as a brand and will no longer post photos of sports transformations on its channels that focus purely on appearance. This is also embraced by our FrontRunner community, consisting of more than 500 riders. They too share only images that reflect the positive feeling of movement: the powerful mental and emotional impact of sports on the whole body and mind."

Got your attention? All information on the ASICS Dramatic Transformation campaign can be found here. Or read the publications on Linda, Metronieuws.nl, Happy in Shape or listen to SLAM FM. And the week started with a Shownieuws article on the 'dramatic transformation'.

Date 13 October 2022

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