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Open AccessArticle

Is Being a Boy and Feeling Fat a Barrier for Physical Activity? The Association between Body Image, Gender and Physical Activity among Adolescents

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Department of Health Psychology, Institute of Public Health, Medical Faculty, Safarik University, Tr. SNP 1, 040 11 Kosice, Slovakia
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Center for Kinanthropology Research, Institute of Active Lifestyle, Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacky University in Olomouc, Tr. Miru 115, Olomouc 77111, Czech Republic
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Olomouc University Social Health Institute (OUSHI), Palacky University in Olomouc, Tr. Miru 115, Olomouc 77111, Czech Republic
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Department of Community & Occupational Health, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(11), 11167-11176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111111167
Received: 3 July 2014 / Revised: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 27 October 2014
Regular physical activity leads to physical and mental health benefits. Previous studies have shown physical activity to be associated with body image and gender. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore the associations of body image with physical activity of adolescents and whether gender modifies this association. We obtained data on body image and physical activity as part of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study in 2010 from Slovakia (n = 8042, age 11–15 years, 49% boys, response rate: 79.5%). Adolescents answered questions about their body image and the frequency of their physical activity. Sufficient physical activity was more likely in adolescents perceiving themselves as fat (OR = 0.63, 95%CI 0.54–0.73) and in boys (OR = 2.15, 95%CI 1.92–2.42). A poor body image among girls was not associated with physical activity, whereas among boys it was associated with less physical activity. Gender seems to moderate the relationship between body image and physical activity in youths. Health promotion should be targeted in particular at boys with a negative body image, as they are at higher risk of physical inactivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; body image; physical activity; gender adolescents; body image; physical activity; gender
MDPI and ACS Style

Kopcakova, J.; Veselska, Z.D.; Geckova, A.M.; Van Dijk, J.P.; Reijneveld, S.A. Is Being a Boy and Feeling Fat a Barrier for Physical Activity? The Association between Body Image, Gender and Physical Activity among Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 11167-11176.

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