Fitness facility managers, you may want to think before outfitting your group exercise room with floor-to-ceiling mirrors on the wall: Doing so may lead your members to bemoan that they are not the fairest of them all.
A recent study published in Health Psychology (2003; 22 ) found that a mirrored exercise environment can contribute to negative body image concerns among inactive women. Participants performed a 20-minute exercise bout in front of either a mirrored or a nonmirrored wall. Regardless of the subjects’ levels of body dissatisfaction, those who exercised in front of a mirror reported feeling worse afterward than those who exercised with no mirror.
The researchers concluded that these results “have implications for promoting exercise among sedentary women.” >