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n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - The influence of a moderate aerobics programme on the body self-image of women in middle adulthood : original research
Objectives. This empirical study investigated the effect of a moderate aerobic exercise programme on the body self-image of a sample of women (n=49) in middle adulthood with a mean age of 54.2 years.
Methods. The participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n=24) and a control group (n=25). The experimental group participated in a (guided) moderate aerobics programme over six weeks, while the control group participated in a sedentary (guided) meditation programme. The participants in both groups were assessed for body self-image using the nine factors defined in the Body Self-Image Questionnaire (BSIQ) of Rowe (2000). The BSIQ comprises both perceptual-cognitive and affective-attitudinal factors.
Results. The results indicated that there was an overall positive shift in the perceptual-cognitive factors of the body self-image in the exercise group, namely for overall appearance evaluation, health fitness evaluation and fatness evaluation. Although no significant shifts were found in all the affective-attitudinal factors of the participants, there was a significant change in the negative affect of the participants.
Conclusion. The results suggest that such a programme has a positive influence on the way these women think and feel about their bodies. No significant changes were found in the body self-image of the control group. These findings suggest the positive effect of a (guided) aerobic exercise programme in improving the body self-image of women in middle adulthood.
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