Exercise and body image disturbance
Mamuza, Joelle Marie
Master of Arts
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The relationship between body image disturbance and exercise behaviour was examined. One hundred and fifty five women from Introductory Psychology completed an exercise inventory, four measures of body image disturbance, and had their height and weight measured. The women were divided into three groups based on whether they 1) participated in aerobic activity only, 2) weight trained in addition to doing aerobic activity, or 3) did not exercise at all. Aerobic exercise alone was not associated with less body Image disturbance. In contrast, women who weight trained in addition to doing aerobic exercise showed significantly lower scores on the Body Dissatisfaction scale of the Eating Disorder Inventory > 2. Reasons for exercising were also compared across groups. Weight training seemed to be associated with a reduction in negative motivations for exercise such as weight loss and physical appearance. The potential implications of the findings for the eating disordered population are discussed.