Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Marcus W. Kilpatrick


aerobic exercise, body satisfaction, mood, physical exercise, resistance exercise


Previous research has shown that chronic exercise positively impacts body image in women. Research defining the modality that yields the best results following an acute session of exercise has yet to be determined. This research attempted to show the psychological benefits that exercise could have on female body image after only one bout of exercise. PURPOSE: The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of three different modalities of acute exercise on state body image in women. This study aimed to determine which modality, if any, is more effective in increasing state body image. METHODS: Twenty-five female participants (20.2 ± 2.2 years; 23.6 ± 4.0 BMI, 25.5 ± 6.0 body fat percent) attended laboratory sessions on six different occasions; the initial informed consent, risk stratification, and descriptive data session, the familiarization session, the three exercise sessions, and the control session. During the familiarization session, each participant was acquainted with each exercise modality. The aerobic (AE) session consisted of a five-minute warm-up, 30 minutes of treadmill exercise, and a five-minute cool-down. The interval circuit (IC) session involved a five-minute warm-up, two circuits containing five bodyweight exercises each, and five minutes of cool-down stretching. The resistance (RE) session included a five-minute warm-up, three sets of eight repetitions of the bench press, bent-over row, overhead press, squat, deadlift, and lunge exercises, and five-minutes of cool-down stretching. The control session included 40 minutes of quiet reading. Ratings of perceived exertion and heart rate were monitored and recorded during each trial. State body image, positive mood, and negative mood were measured immediately before and after each experimental session. RESULTS: Following the AE and RE sessions, state body image significantly improved from pre- to post-session (AE: 5.2 ± 1.2 to 5.7 ± 1.0; RE: 5.4 ± 1.4 to 5.9 ± 1.2; p < 0.05). Only the RE post-session state body image (5.4 ± 1.4) was significantly different from the CO post-session state body image (5.4 ± 1.1; p < 0.05). The AE and RE sessions significantly increased positive mood and decreased negative mood from pre- to post-session (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Participation in the aerobic and resistance sessions significantly improved body image from pre- to post-exercise. Resistance exercise was the only research modality that yielded significantly higher post-exercise state body image as compared to the control session. Thus, a single resistance exercise session may help individuals to improve their state body image.