Evaluating the potential roles of body dissatisfaction in exercise avoidance

Kimberly R. More, L. Alison Phillips, Miriam H. Eisenberg Colman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Body dissatisfaction is linked to poor physical health, even after actual markers of health have been controlled for. This link is likely due to body dissatisfaction influencing health behaviors—more specifically, cardiovascular exercise. Modifiable reasons for this link have yet to be determined. We conducted a prospective study to evaluate whether active avoidance of exercise may explain the association of body dissatisfaction with exercise, and, if so, whether perceived barriers to exercise account for the association of body dissatisfaction and exercise avoidance. Baseline measures were collected via survey; physical activity was measured over time, via self-report. As expected, avoidance mediated the prospective relationship between dissatisfaction and exercise. Additionally, the relationship between body dissatisfaction and avoidance was mediated by embarrassment and fatigue. Interventions that boost body satisfaction and/or address perceptions of fatigue and embarrassment may be needed for individuals with body dissatisfaction to be more likely to participate in exercise-related programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalBody Image
Early online date14 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Accelerometry
  • Body image
  • Emotions
  • Exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Perceived behavioral control
  • Self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology


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