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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-33

''Body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym users and non-users'': A cross-sectional study


Department of Psychiatric Social Work, LGBRIMH, Tezpur, Assam, India

Date of Submission28-Jul-2021
Date of Decision06-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance21-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication30-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Mamata Rani Swain
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, LGBRIMH,Tezpur, Assam
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/tjp.tjp_30_21

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  Abstract 


Background: Body image refers to how an individual perceives and it affects individual feelings about his or her body weight and shape. Usually, in general, populations have a notion that the gym users were more concerned about their physical appearance and dissatisfied with their weight, and also it is associated with self-esteem.
Aims: The present study aimed to find out the difference in body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym users and nongym users.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study. The sample consisted of 30 adult gym users and 30 adult nongym users. Adult gym users were selected purposively from the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences (wellness center), LGBRIMH, and the nongym users were from the LGBRIMH campus. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the sociodemographic profile of the respondent, the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) was used to measure the concerns related to one's body image and a Self-Esteem Scale was used to assess the self-esteem.
Results: BSQ score was higher for the nongym users, indicating a higher level of dissatisfaction with body image (M = 68.80, standard deviation [SD] = 33.94) as compared to gym users (M = 59.133, SD = 25.477), self-esteem was high among gym users (M = 0.21.333, SD = 5.254) as compared to nonusers (M = 16.90, SD = 5.695). Statistically no significant difference was found between the groups in BSQ and self-esteem.
Conclusion: This study's findings revealed that the nongym users were scored higher in BSQ which indicated a higher level of dissatisfaction with body image and low self-esteem, whereas the gym user's score indicated a higher level of satisfaction with body image and a higher level of self-esteem. Although statistically no significant difference was found between the groups in BSQ and self-esteem. Appropriate psychosocial intervention can be provided to address body image dissatisfaction and other factors associated with it among the general population.

Keywords: Body image satisfaction, gym users and nonusers, self-esteem


How to cite this article:
Banerjee I, Ali A, Deuri S, Swain MR, Mahanta P. ''Body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym users and non-users'': A cross-sectional study. Telangana J Psychiatry 2022;8:29-33

How to cite this URL:
Banerjee I, Ali A, Deuri S, Swain MR, Mahanta P. ''Body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym users and non-users'': A cross-sectional study. Telangana J Psychiatry [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jun 30];8:29-33. Available from: https://tjpipstsb.org/text.asp?2022/8/1/29/346237




  Introduction Top


From the beginning of humankind, people have given importance to the beauty of the human body. Physical well-being activities or exercising have an impact on individual psychological, physical health, and body satisfaction. Often a negative body image plays as a barrier or hurdle in the way of doing or engaging himself or herself in physical exercise.[1],[2] Body image refers to one's perception of how the individual perceives himself or herself regarding physical appearance and this perception is affected by mood, physical experience, and environment. Body image disturbance is argued to be a multidimensional construct, with two facets.[3] The first one is the perceptual component and it denotes issues in estimating one's body size and dimensions. Moreover, the second one is the cognitive-affective component which is associated with negative attitudes and emotions toward one's own body, commonly displayed by extreme feelings of body image dissatisfaction. Individual self-esteem, cultural messages, the societal standard of appearance, and an external appraisal are impacted by individual self-esteem.[4]

Nowadays, body image concerns have become widespread in our societies across the age group. Generally, we have a notion those individuals who attend gym are more concerned about their physical look, mostly anxious about their weight and shape. It was typically observed that healthy individuals have a highly self-served biased positive perception of one's attractiveness relative to the perception from others.[5] Importantly, self-serving bias in healthy individuals acts as a protective factor against poor mental health.[6],[7] Involvement in exercise is one important means by which physical self-perceptions are enhanced.[7] Indeed, physical self-perceptions have consistently been related to exercise from all stages of life. In the past, studies have investigated the impact of gender and age on body features related to affective components as well as examining other aspects of the satisfaction and dissatisfaction continuum. To our knowledge, only a handful of studies have examined the role of gymming and its impact on individual body image satisfaction and self-esteem. Thus, it remains unclear whether gymming plays as a mediating factor or not in the satisfaction and dissatisfaction continuum. However, this study is an attempt to bridge the gap in the literature.

Aim and objective

The present study is aimed to examine the difference in body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym and nongym users.

Hypothesis

  1. There will be no significant difference in the sociodemographic profile of adult gym users and nongym users
  2. There will be no significant difference in body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym users and nongym users.



  Methodology Top


This present study design was a cross-sectional study. The study universe was a wellness center (gym) at the Center of Rehabilitation Sciences, LGBRIMH, and purposive sampling was used to recruit participants for the study. A total of 30 respondents were gym users availing gym services for weight reduction, endurance, and strength building at the wellness center. A total of 30 respondents who have never availed of the gym services in their lifetime were selected from the hostel and campus of LGBRIMH. For the present study, institutional ethics committee approval was taken. A total of 60 participants were selected over 1 year from March 2020 to January 2021. Those who were expressing their refusal to give informed consent and those who are availing the gym services for their medical conditions/disorder were excluded from the study. Informed consent was taken from the participant. Initially, the participant's basic sociodemographic details were taken in a semi-structured interview schedule. After that, the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) and Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (SES) were administered to the respondent. To determine the individual weight, body mass index (BMI) was calculated (weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) using this formula.

The following tools were employed in the present study:

  1. Sociodemographic data sheet: sociodemographic data sheet was prepared to gather some personal information such as age, sex, height, weight, whether to go to the gym or not, and duration of using the gym
  2. BSQ: This scale was developed by Raustorp et al.[8] and was used to measure the concerns related to one's body shape. It is a self-report questionnaire. BSQ had Cronbach's coefficient alpha values in the range 0.93 to 0.97. Each item is scored 1-6 with “Never” = 1 and “Always” = 6, and the overall score is the total across the 34 items, i.e., a theoretical score ranges from 34 to 204. A low score indicates a higher level of satisfaction about body image and a high score indicates a higher level of dissatisfaction with body image
  3. Rosenberg SES[9] was used to assess the self-esteem of the respondent. This scale is a self-report measure of self-esteem. It is a 4-point Likert rating scale.


A higher score indicates high self-esteem. Internal consistency for the Rosenberg SES ranges from 0.77 to 0.88. Test-retest reliability for Rosenberg self-esteem ranges from 0.82 to 0.85.

Data analysis

The data were collected entered into the Microsoft Excel program and analyzed in (IBM, SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0, Armonk, NY). Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation [SD], and percentile) were used to determine categorical variables. Inferential statistics such as the Chi-square test were used to see the difference in discrete variables, to calculate the group difference in continuous variables t-test was used. The level of statistical significance shall be kept at P < 0.05 for all the tests.

Ethical consideration

Institutional ethics committee permission was taken for conducting the study. All participant-related information was kept in a digital device with password protection and would only be used for report writing or publication to a scientific journal.


  Results Top


Sixty eligible study participants were selected based on inclusion criteria (N = 60). 76.66% of the gym users were male, whereas only 23.33% of females used the gym in the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences, LGBRIMH, Tezpur, Assam. The majority of the participants were belonging to the Hindu religion in the gym user group and 56.66% of respondents in nongym users were belonged to the Christianity religion. In both the group, 50% of the respondents were hailing from urban areas. Eighty percent of participants in gym users and 90% participants in nongym users were unmarried. The majority of the participants, i.e. 40% belonged to nursing professionals, 23.3%, 20%, and 16.7% of participants were form psychiatric social work, MD, and CP professionals, respectively. This table also shows that in both the group, majority of the respondent belongs to the nuclear family. Around 40% of the participants from both groups engaged in some kind of well-being activities, whereas a few participants 23.33% were reported having some health problems [Table 1].
Table 1: The sociodemographic profile of gym and nongym users

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The [Table 2] shows the age, weight, height, and BMI range of the participants of the two groups. The gym user's mean age was (28.43 years) whereas the nonusers mean age was (25.73 years). It shows that the mean weight of the gym users was (67.86) which is more in comparison to nonusers but statistically no significant difference was found. In the BMI range means the score is also slightly higher in the gym users' group (24.55) in comparison to nonusers (20.88).
Table 2: The group difference in age, weight, height, and body mass index range

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[Table 3] shows the body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym and nongym users. An independent sample t-test indicated that the scores on BSQ were higher for the nongym users, indicating a higher level of dissatisfaction with body image (M = 68.80, SD = 33.94), whereas the gym users score indicated a higher level of satisfaction with body image (M = 59.133, SD = 25.477), t = 1.248, P = 1.48. The finding also shows that self-esteem was high among Gym users(M=21.333, SD=5.254) as compared to Non users (M=16.900,SD=5.695), t = 3.134, P =0.813. Hence, statistically no significant difference was found between the groups in BSQ and self-esteem.
Table 3: The body image satisfaction and self-esteem among adult gym and nongym users

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  Discussion Top


The present study was conducted among two groups (gym users and nonusers) to find out the difference in body image satisfaction and self-esteem between the groups. The participants of the study were recruited using the inclusion criteria and were screened out using the exclusion criteria. Written informed consent was taken from the respondent. The scales used in the study were the BSQ and SES to measure body image satisfaction and the level of self-esteem. This particular study has been selected by the researcher because body image dissatisfaction has some ill effects on individual mental health. Previous studies reported that individuals who perceive their body image negatively may have low self-esteem, low satisfaction in life, and feeling of inferiority and put themselves at a higher risk of depression. Therefore, it is important maintain body image and self-esteem for the overall psychological and healthy development of individuals.

Body image and self-esteem are interrelated affect individuals throughout their life span. Individual perceptions regarding own body image are directly connected with perception, thought, and feelings. External appearance influences individuals at every point of their life, irrespective of gender. The perceptions of body appearance and self-esteem have strong connections.[10] The issues of self-esteem turn out to be prominent in adolescence and adulthood during the development period of identity and coherent sense of self.[11] Self-esteem refers to a positive or negative attitude toward the self that makes the person feel that he is a person of worth.[9] Feeling of belonging or being needed, a sense of being accepted, and a feeling of being a competent person are important aspects of self-esteem. A person with low self-esteem demonstrates self-rejection, self-dissatisfaction, and self-contempt, lacks self-respect, and paints a disagreeable self-picture.[12]

The present study aims to examine whether any difference existed in body image satisfaction and self-esteem among gym users and nongym users. In the present study, it was revealed that the majority of males were using the gym. These findings can be explained from a comparision of gender women are more likely than men to experience weight related stigma and fear of being judged, and can discourage women from going to the gym.[7] The result indicates that gym users have scored higher in the body satisfaction questionnaire scale Suggesting high body image satisfaction in comparison to nongym users, although a statistically significant difference was not found. The findings of a few studies are in support of the current result[13],[14] that gym users were often concerned about their physical status, worried about their image and weight. The majority of the people think that gym is the place where the individual can improve their body image and it was also reported that males normally used the gym as enjoyment and it is a sport for the male.[15]

Gym users scored higher on the SES in comparison to nonusers. This finding is supported by previous research, and it is [16],[17] concluded that individuals who are exercising for health and fitness reasons were associated with increased self-esteem. It seems that weight or BMI as a physical factor cannot affect self-esteem, directly, but it can influence body image. This finding was consistent with other studies that have reported positive correlations between exercise participation, physical competence, and self-esteem and the relationship between self-esteem and body image.[18]

A limitation of this study was the relatively small sample size. While the results are interesting and do give a look at what might be going on in regards to how body image affects self-esteem and their relationship with exercise preferences, the data are not necessarily generalizable to the entire mental health trainee population. Future research could look at similar relationships but with a larger sample size to get a clearer, generalizable idea of the relationship between body image, self-esteem, and exercise type. Another limitation may be the selection of the study site, as all the respondents were from the LGBRIMH and were from the mental health profession. Hence, it can be said that they might have the knowledge on body composition or body image satisfaction with self-esteem, and its impact on individual behavior.


  Conclusion Top


Our findings indicate that the scores on BSQ were higher for the nongym users, indicating a higher level of dissatisfaction with body image, whereas the gym user's score indicated a higher level of satisfaction with body image. The finding also shows that self-esteem was high among gym users as compared to nonusers. But statistically no significant difference was found between the groups in BSQ and self-esteem. This may be due to methodological limitations associated with the selection of respondents and a small sample size. In the literature, it was well-established that individuals engaging in regular exercise such as gymming have better self-esteem and better body image satisfaction. Therefore, it is indeed needed to look into body image and self-esteem as both factors have pervasive effects on many other psychological and physiological health of the individual. Appropriate psychosocial intervention through the wellness centres can be provided by psychiatric social workers and other mental health professionals to address body image dissatisfaction and other factors associated with it among the general population.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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