The Biggest Loser Watchers Avoid Exercise
The Biggest Loser may hope to offer up big inspiration for its millions of viewers. But that inspiration doesn’t extend beyond the couch. A recent study suggests that the reality television program actually turns viewers off to exercise.
Published in the American Journal of Health Behavior (2013; 37 , 96–103), the study assessed perceptions of exercise in 138 subjects after they watched a clip of either The Biggest Loser or (control group) American Idol. Once they had viewed the clip, they completed a go/no-go association task, a thought-listing task and questionnaires. The questionnaires focused on attitude, activity level and mood.
While it might seem that The Biggest Loser viewers would be more inspired to exercise, results proved the opposite: This group “had significantly lower explicit, but not implicit, attitudes towards exercise than did control participants.”
Why would a show aimed at inspiring people to be active turn them off to exercise instead?
“When people visualize themselves performing athletic endeavors or exercise-related movements, they tend to envision themselves performing such activities fluidly, powerfully, seamlessly and/or gracefully, which fosters a favorable attitude to fitness,” suggests Mary Bratcher, DipLC, co-owner of The BioMechanics in San Diego. “However, when faced with the prospect of watching highly deconditioned people struggle with the reality of awkwardly performing demanding, dynamic exercises and movements while being yelled at and judged, viewers may become turned off to fitness. This is perhaps because they find it difficult to reconcile what they are seeing with the notion of fitness they picture in their heads.”
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
IDEA Newsletter Sign-up
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.