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Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms

Authors Zamani Sani SH, Fathirezaie Z, Brand S, Pühse U, Holsboer-Trachsler E, Gerber M, Talepasand S

Received 9 July 2016

Accepted for publication 20 August 2016

Published 12 October 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2617—2625

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S116811

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Seyed Hojjat Zamani Sani,1 Zahra Fathirezaie,1 Serge Brand,2 Uwe Pühse,3 Edith Holsboer-Trachsler,2 Markus Gerber,3 Siavash Talepasand4

1Department of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran; 2Psychiatric Clinics of the University of Basel, Center for Affective, Stress and Sleep Disorders (ZASS), 3Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, Sport Science Section, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 4Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran

Abstract: In the present study, we investigated the relationship between physical activity (PA) and self-esteem (SE), while introducing body mass index (BMI), perceived physical fitness (PPF), and body image (BI) in adults (N =264, M =38.10 years). The findings indicated that PA was directly and indirectly associated with SE. BMI predicted SE neither directly nor indirectly, but was directly associated with PPF and both directly and indirectly with BI. Furthermore, PPF was directly related to BI and SE, and a direct association was found between BI and SE. The pattern of results suggests that among a sample of adults, PA is directly and indirectly associated with SE, PPF, and BI, but not with BMI. PA, PPF, and BI appear to play an important role in SE. Accordingly, regular PA should be promoted, in particular, among adults reporting lower SE.

Keywords: physical activity, self-esteem, physical fitness, body image, adults

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