Body Image and Physical Activity in People Living with Heart Disease
Lightfoot, Kathryn Ann
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Context: Little is known about body image and its relationship with physical activity (PA) among people living with heart disease. Purpose: To determine the prevalence and stability of body image issues over time in heart patients, and to determine the bi-directional relationship between body image and PA over time. Method: Participants who completed cardiac rehabilitation (CR; n = 31), and who declined CR (n = 28) were recruited. Participants completed self-report questionnaires assessing body image and PA at two time intervals, three months apart. Results: Up to 9.7% of participants in CR and 10.7% of those not in CR reported high body image concerns. Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed body image changed over time in people not in CR (body surveillance, Wilk’s ? = .768, F = 8.15, p = .008; control beliefs, Wilk’s ? = .837, F = 5.28, p = .030). Linear regressions showed that minutes of moderate PA predicted body image (body shame, ? = -.372, t = -.2.12, p = .043) in people in CR, and that body image (control beliefs) predicted minutes of moderate PA (? = .384, t =2.12, p = .044) in people not in CR. Conclusion/Implications: This research has the potential to lead to the development of more effective PA interventions, thus improving the longevity and quality of life of heart patients.