The effects of exercise on body satisfaction and affect

Body Image. 2010 Mar;7(2):124-30. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.12.002. Epub 2010 Feb 12.


This research used ecological momentary assessment to examine the effects of exercise on state body dissatisfaction and affect in 33 undergraduate females with high trait body dissatisfaction and 28 with low trait body dissatisfaction who exercised at least three times weekly. Trait body dissatisfaction was investigated as a moderator of the effects of exercise as well as different motivations for exercise. Results indicated all participants experienced lower state body dissatisfaction and negative affect and greater positive affect post-exercise. Trait body dissatisfaction moderated the association between motivations and exercise effects. Appearance and weight motivations were related to higher state body dissatisfaction for all individuals. Fitness and health motivations were related to higher state body dissatisfaction for high trait body dissatisfied individuals and lower state body dissatisfaction for low trait body dissatisfied individuals. Thus, although exercise has positive effects on body dissatisfaction and affect for high frequency exercisers, their exercise motivations impact these effects.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Concept
  • Young Adult