The influence of physical activity on body image: A literature review


  • Carolina de Oliveira Gonçalves
  • Angela Nogueira Campana
  • Maria da Consolação Tavares



Body image can be understood as the mental representation of our own body. Since physical activity is a source of bodily experiences, it is necessary to have a wider view of their effects on body image. The aim of this study was to analyze the evolution of research on body image and physical activity and to reflect about the relationship between physical activity and body image. We used three databases - Web of Science, Scopus and SportDiscus. A total of 10 studies were carefully selected. The review points to a significant evolution of the designs of these surveys, an important development of methodology and evaluation resources. Moreover, it is concluded that physical activity exerts influences on body image in various ways. A program of physical activity must respect the person individuality to determine the adopted intensity, frequency and length, knowing that the minimal recommendations to achieve a feedback related with body image development regard to two sessions per week during 12 weeks.



Review Article