A Comparison between Physically Active and Sedentary Overweight and Obese Females Regarding Social Physique Anxiety, Body Size Satisfaction, Weight Dissatisfaction and Commitment to Physical Activity
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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It is prevalent in the literature that physical activity and exercise are beneficial for health and well-being. However, participation rates in obese and overweight female populations is low, therefore, this population is not gaining health benefits that a long term physical activity and exercise programme can cause. Psychological variables such as social physique anxiety, body size satisfaction, commitment to physical activity and weight dissatisfaction may be barriers that inhibit the willingness to participate in physical activity and exercise. This research aimed to analyse the differences in these variables between overweight and obese physically active and sedentary females with the intention of finding differences that affect willingness to participate in physical activity and exercise. Reasons to exercise were also assessed in order to identify different attributions to being physically active. Participants (n=63) were separated into two groups according to physical activity level, mean age was; sedentary 28 (±12) and physically active 29 (±9), mean height was 161cm (± 5) and 162cm (± 6) and mean body mass index was 31 (±3) and 29 (±6). Analysis found that there was no difference between populations regarding social physique anxiety, body size satisfaction and weight dissatisfaction (p>.05). Differences were found in commitment to physical activity and two of the reasons for exercise; to increase energy and to improve cardiovascular fitness. This study disputes the evidence that social physique anxiety, body size satisfaction and weight dissatisfaction affect willingness participate in physical activity. The findings of this study suggest that improvement of commitment to physical activity and attributing reasons to exercise to improvement of fitness as opposed to weight loss will increase adherence in long term exercise programmes.
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