Exercise Behaviour and Body Esteem of Gym-Goers in India


  • Ruhee Contractor
  • Deepa Rasquinha


Exercise dependence is described as exercise which is harmful if engaged compulsively and excessively. The present study aims to investigate differences in categories of exercise behaviours and areas of body esteem in gym-goers in India across genders. The study used a cross-sectional design, and the sample consisted of 291 gym-goers (females = 146; males = 145) The Exercise Dependence Scale- 21 (EDS-21) and Body Esteem Scale-Revised (BES-R) was administered to the gym-goers in India after seeking informed consent. The obtained data were statistically analysed using descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of variance. The results of the study indicated that there was a significant difference in the three categories of exercise behaviours and three areas of body esteem in male gym-goers. However, such similar differences were not found in female gym-goers. The differences found in body esteem for the male gym-goers in certain areas suggest how exercise has an impact on body image. For female gym-goers, we can see that irrespective of the category they belong to, there is no difference in the areas of body esteem. We can understand such findings with the sociocultural model of excessive exercise given by White and Halliwell (DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2010.02.002) where perceived sociocultural pressure predicts excessive exercise, which is mediated by body image. Strengths and limitations of the study are discussed. Future research in India based on qualitative and longitudinal designs are warranted.