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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the relationship between body image and exercise, as an example of the consequences that appearance concerns can have on lifestyle and health behaviours. Research into the effects of physical activity on psychological states has almost universally found improvements in anxiety, depression, and negative affect, and given its beneficial impact on physical health, motivating people to increase their levels of physical activity is a major focus within public health. First, the article considers the relationship between exercise and body dissatisfaction. It then explores how appearance can act as a motivator or a barrier to exercise, before considering the use of physical activity as an intervention to boost body satisfaction. Next, it examines the relevance of the environment in which exercise takes place, and highlights areas for further research.

Keywords: body image, exercise, appearance psychology, physical activity, body dissatisfaction, body satisfaction

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