The Relationship between Body Image and Exercise Adherence in Fitness Centre Exercising Sample
Research background and hypothesis. The analysis of factors which might inﬂ uence exercise adherence
is important issue for physical activity promotion. Studies show that exercisers’ body image is important factor
associated with well being, exercise motivation and speciﬁ c exercise–related behaviour.
Research aim was is to examine the relationship between exercise adherence, body image and social physique
anxiety in a sample of ﬁ tness centre participants.
Research methods. Members of ﬁ tness centres (n = 217, 66 of them were women) provided their answers
on exercise experience, in three subscales (appearance evaluation, appearance orientation and overweight
preoccupation) of The Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ-AS; Brown et al., 1990)
and Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS; Hart et al., 1989). Mean age of the sample was 29.02 (9.85) years
(range = 18–68 years).
Research results. Women demonstrated higher appearance orientation, overweight preoccupation and social
physique anxiety compared to men. However, we observed no signiﬁ cant differences in appearance evaluation,
appearance orientation and overweight preoccupation in the groups of different exercise experience of men and
women. When overweight respondents (≥ 25 kg / m²) were excluded from the analysis, there were no statistically
signiﬁ cant differences observed in body image and social physique anxiety in exercise experience groups of men
and women. Exercising longer than 6 years signiﬁ cantly predicted overweight preoccupation [95% CI: 1.25–16.94]
controlled by age and gender.
Discussion and conclusions. Exercising men demonstrated more positive body image and lower social
physique anxiety compared to women, except for appearance evaluation. There were observed no body image
and social physique relationships with exercise adherence observed in the sample of ﬁ tness centre participants,
however, exercise experience longer than 6 years predicted overweight preoccupation.
Keywords: body image concerns, exercise experience, self-presentation.
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