Physical Activity Ups Satisfaction With Body Image, Function

Improved satisfaction also tied to greater reductions in BMI and depressive symptoms

MONDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Predictors of improvement in satisfaction with body function and appearance in mid-life and older adults include greater physical activity, greater reductions in body mass index (BMI) and depressive symptoms, and being white, according to a study published in the June issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Michelle Renée Umstattd, Ph.D., from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and colleagues assessed predictors of change in satisfaction with body function and appearance in 1,839 adults age 50 years or older (mean age, 69 years) who participated in the Active for Life physical activity behavior change program. Predictors were evaluated through simultaneous regression analyses.

The investigators found that greater improvements in body function satisfaction were correlated with being white, younger, better baseline health ratings, higher reductions in BMI and depressive symptoms, and greater increases in physical activity. Greater improvements in satisfaction with body appearance were correlated with holding a college degree, being white, greater reductions in BMI and depressive symptoms, and higher increases in physical activity.

"These findings suggest the importance of physical activity in enhancing body satisfaction in mid-life and older adults," the authors write.

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