Exercise modality and its relationship with global self-esteem and physical self-concept


Research in the field of physical activity and self-esteem has been conducted since the 1970's. However, there have been very few studies examining the strength of the relationships between exercise modality (aerobic, group/classes, light, and heavy resistance), global self-esteem (GSE), and physical self-concept (PSC) in young, healthy women. The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of the relationship between GSE and PSC depending on a) the most frequently performed and b) the most preferred exercise modality. The secondary objective was to examine how PSC and its subdomains differ between exercise modalities. Women who exercise regularly and are between the ages of 18-30 were invited to participate in the study. Data was collected electronically through the online survey software Opinio. The online questionnaire consisted of 5 measures: tables for exercise habits, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and 3 measures of PSC. For analysis, the data was divided into heavy resistance training (HRT) and others based on frequency and preference. There were no significant differences in the strength of the relationships between PSC and GSE in either group. Women who perform HRT most frequently and/or prefer HRT to other modalities had greater PSC while only women that perform HRT most frequently had greater GSE. While it is unknown at this time if HRT has a direct effect on GSE and PSC, more research should be conducted to further examine these and other potential relationships and effects.