The current study examined the association between exercise behaviors, disordered eating, and other behaviors to change body shape among fitness center attendees. The participants were 520 adults (245 men, 275 women) who attended fitness centers. Data were gathered using an anonymous questionnaire. Women who attended fitness centers were generally trying to lose weight and improve fitness; men were generally trying to increase their muscles and improve their fitness level. Reasons for exercise predicted the nature of the body change strategies adopted by respondents. Regression analyses demonstrated that exercises performed by people who attend fitness centers are a reflection of whether or not they want to lose weight, increase muscle or improve fitness. All groups were equally likely to engage in health risk behaviors, but the specific nature of these behaviors varied by group. The implications of these findings for health-related messages among people who attend fitness centers are discussed.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology