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Mirroring Women's Poor Body Image

by Diane Lofshult on Jan 01, 2004

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 [4]) 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.” >

IDEA Health Fitness Source, Volume 2005, Issue 1

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© 2004 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at