Publication Date

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Gregory Feist


Body Appreciation, Body Image, Exercise, Level of Exercise, Reasons for Exercise

Subject Areas



The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between body image and exercise. The study examined reasons for exercise and level of exercise as potential moderators of the relationship between body appreciation and exercise. Three hypotheses were tested: there will be sex differences in level of body appreciation, there will be a positive relationship between body appreciation and level of exercise, and the relationship will be moderated by reason for exercise - either health or appearance reason and exercise level. Two-hundred-eighty-nine participants selected from an introductory psychology course pool responded to four questionnaires: the Body Appreciation Scale (BAS), the Reasons for Exercise Inventory (REI), the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 (EMI-2), and an inquiry about physical activities.

The first two hypotheses were supported: males had higher levels of body appreciation than females, and the more males and females exercised, the higher the level of body appreciation. There was less support for the last hypothesis. Implications of the study are that males tended to feel better about themselves than females and that there was a definite relationship between exercise and positive body image. Exercising for health and appearance reasons and level of physical activity can affect how one feels about one's body.