Journal article Open Access

A Relação entre a Prática de Exercício Físico e a Imagem Corporal

José Mendes; Fernando Vieira

Background: Body image is considered a fundamental construct in society, being the practice of physical activity or physical exercise a promoter of a more robust body and of a greater satisfaction with the body image. The practice of physical activity or physical exercise is also a recommendation of the World Health Organization. Objectives: Understand the relationship between physical exercise and body image. Methods: Scientific articles were searched in three databases of peer-reviewed journals using the keywords “body image and physical exercise”. All the articles analyzed the relationship between the concepts of body image and physical exercise. Results: In a total of 75 articles, 12 duplicated publications were excluded, as well as 28 other publications that did not meet the inclusion criteria. Thus, 16 articles that show a relationship between the practice of physical exercise and bodyimage were analyzed. Conclusions: The present integrative literature review made it possible to verify that the practice of physical exercise influences both the perception of, and the satisfaction with a positive body image. It appears that it is the media that influence the concern with the concept of body image and the practice of physical exercise. However, a difference between genders can be perceived. While the Body Mass Index (BMI) is associated with body image, this is not the case with the practice of physical exercise. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors, such as the perception of body image, seem to influence the relationship that is established with the practice of physical activity and physical exercise.

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