How Exercise Affects Body Image In Women

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Researchers from the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England are looking for female participants for a study investigating the relationship between exercise and body image. Dr James Byron-Daniel and MSc Research methods student, Nicola Stock will explore how small amounts of exercise make women feel about how they look and hope that the study will shed new light on an area where there is currently very little research.

James Byron-Daniel explains, “Despite the high importance placed on exercise in the media and within the NHS, surprisingly little research has been conducted into exactly how small amounts of exercise make people feel about the way they look. Whilst past research has shown that exercise improves body image in professional athletes, the relationship in non-athletes is less clear."


"Body image, that is to say an individual's own feelings about the way they look is supported by research to be more of an issue for women than for men. In this study we hope to find examples of how one influences the other, whether body image might improve, stay the same or deteriorate during and after a short period of exercise and what factors might influence this change such as performance, mood or general health.”

“As a starting point for this study, we are inviting female participants between the ages of 18-60 to come to the University. They will take part in a very brief, individually tailored 15-30 minute exercise session on an exercise bike during which we will also conduct questionnaires to monitor responses during and after exercise.”

The study will run until the end of the August. The results will be used to inform further research in this area and also will be published in a scientific journal.