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Phys Ther. 1984 Feb;64(2):194-8.

Effects of physical conditioning on self-concept of adult obese males.


The purpose of the study was to investigate possible psychological changes in obese men after participating in an eight-week nutrition and physical conditioning program. The subjects, 45 male, metropolitan policemen who were considered at least 20 percent over their optimum body weights, were placed on diets and received weekly instruction on topics of nutrition and exercise. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups, one that participated in aerobic conditioning and one that did not. The amount of oxygen consumption, as an index of physical fitness, and performance on selected subscales of the Tennessee Self-concept Scale (TSCS) were measured before and after the training and conditioning programs. Both groups displayed significant increases in oxygen consumption and on the Physical Self and Self-satisfaction subscales, but on all these measures, the Conditioning Group increased significantly (2 to 3 times) more. For both groups, the Total Variability measure from the TSCS showed significant reductions, which have been associated with personality integration. These results demonstrate that physical conditioning and dietary educational sessions or educational sessions alone are associated with positive changes in self-concept in obese individuals and also corroborate other studies that show links between physical and psychological fitness.

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