Body image and physical activity among black university students in South Africa

  • K. Peltzer


The purpose of this research is to identify and understand factors of body image influencing physical exercise behaviour among black South African women and men. There were 289 participants, 189 women and 100 men chosen from non-health sciences courses in a class setting. Results indicated that more than a third of the participants indicated that they had engaged three or more times a week in vigorous physical activity. More than one-third (35%) of the women were overweight or obese and a quarter of the men (25%) were underweight. Physical activity was strongly associated with appearance evaluation, fitness orientation, fitness evaluation, health orientation and weakly associated with appearance orientation and illness orientation. BMI was associated with overweight preoccupation and self-classified weight. Fitness orientation, health evaluation and body areas satisfaction were associated with ideal weight preferences.
Key words: Body image, physical activity, black women and men, South Africa.

(Af. J. Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2003 9(2): 207-216)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939