The Associations between Physical Activity and Body-Esteem in 15-Year-Old Adolescents : A Cross-Sectional Study from Finland
Ojala, K., Huotari, P., Villberg, J., & Tynjälä, J. (2021). The Associations between Physical Activity and Body-Esteem in 15-Year-Old Adolescents : A Cross-Sectional Study from Finland. Physical Activity and Health, 5(1), 154-165. https://doi.org/10.5334/paah.107
Published inPhysical Activity and Health
© 2021 the Authors
Purpose: Physical activity promotes a positive physical self-image, but less is known about whether the positive effect covers the general self-evaluation of adolescent appearance. This study aimed to further explore the associations between physical activity and body-esteem in Finnish adolescents, via a country-representative cross-sectional study design. Methods: The data for the study were drawn from the Finnish component of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study (2014), using surveys from 15-year-old adolescents (n=1956, mean age 15.8 years) from 122 schools. Self-evaluations of body or appearance were measured by the Body-Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults (BESAA). A mixed effects linear regression analysis for body-esteem was conducted separately for boys and girls. The explanatory variables were (i) self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), (ii) weight status, (iii) self-esteem, and (iv) socioeconomic status. The covariates used in the models were maturation state and ethnic background. Results: The body-esteem score was highest among adolescents who reported engagement in MVPA corresponding to the international recommendation for adolescents’ physical activity. The positive association between MVPA and body-esteem was found even when it was considered in conjunction with other body image-related factors, but only among boys. The variance in MVPA explained 5.0% of the body-esteem variance in the model for boys (Model R2 = 26.3%). Conclusions: The physical activity of young people should be further promoted for a variety of health reasons, including its positive association with higher body-esteem. However, consideration should be given to gender differences and other factors related in this complex association. ...
PublisherUbiquity Press, Ltd.
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Additional information about fundingThe authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.
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