The effect of aerobic and aerobic/strength training on body image in females.

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Henry, Ruth
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of aerobic and aerobic/strength training on body image in females. Seventy-two college-aged females volunteered for this study. Before the training programs began, all subjects completed testing for percent body fat, cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength/endurance, and nine body image components assessed by the Body Self-Image Questionnaire (Rowe, 1996). After the pretests, 23 subjects completed 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training, and 28 subjects completed 12 weeks of aerobic/strength training. The remaining 21 subjects did not change their current exercise regimen, and did not participate in vigorous exercise training. After the 12-week training programs, the researchers retested all subjects, using procedures identical to those used during pretest. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed on each physical fitness variable and each component of body image in order to detect differences among groups. ANCOVA results indicated a significant difference (p less than .05) among the three groups in overall appearance evaluation (p = .036), fatness evaluation (p = .028), attention to grooming (p = .038), health/fitness evaluation (p = .026), height dissatisfaction (p = .029), negative affect (p = .016), and all fitness variables. No significant differences occurred among groups in health/fitness influence, social dependence, or investment in societal ideals. Tukey/Kramer post hoc tests determined pairwise differences (p less than .05) between groups where significant differences in the overall ANCOVA were found. Aerobics/strength training subjects had higher VO2 max than the control group, and had greater upper body strength than both the aerobics group and the control group. Aerobics/strength training subjects had lower percent body fat than both aerobics and control group subjects, and aerobics group subjects had lower percent fat than control group subjects. In the body image variables, pairwise comparisons indicated
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