Analysis of the relationship between physical self-concept and body composition
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INTRODUCTION Health-related fitness (HRF) explains the capacity to perform physical activities without tiring and include specific components that are objectively measured with standardized physical tests. The physical self-description (PSD) is a subjective judgment of the body and physical abilities that could diverge according for example to cultural backgrounds. Most studies on women’s perception of their bodies and physical abilities have been done on western cultures, while limited exist data on Arab ones. The purpose of this study is to analyze the links between actual HRF and the estimated PSD among young Qatari women. METHODS 85 women (18-25 years) were recruited on campus to perform a standardized battery of HRF tests (ALPHA-FIT for adults, Suni et al., 2009). To estimate the physical self-concept the short version of Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) was used (Marsh et al., 2010). The collected data were imported to Statistica v.12 software and correlations were analyzed using Pearson coefficient. RESULTS 69.4% of the participants were classified as overweight (45.8%) or obese (23.6%). Significant correlations were found between: BMI on one hand and self-estimated appearance, body fat and global physical esteem on the other (r=-0.27 and r=-0.29, respectively), between the 2km-walk performances on one hand and perceived endurance (r=0.4) and global physical esteem (r=0.34) on the other. Although, the jump-and-reach and modified push-up tests correlated significantly with the self-estimated strength (r=0.26, r=0.31, respectively), this was not evidenced between the latter and the strength-related tests (handgrip, r=0.18; dynamic sit-up, r=0.11). Shoulder-neck mobility results were also significantly correlated to perceived flexibility (r=0.35). The lowest fitness scores manifested in handgrip, modified push-up and 2km-walk tests. DISCUSSION Overweight and obesity are still primary issues among young Qatari female. The established correlations between BMI and estimated appearance scores indicated a rational image. However, in some strength related fitness scores (handgrip, dynamic sit-up) participants overestimated their abilities. The low performance in strength and endurance tests could be linked to the awareness concerning muscularity as well as participation in regular physical activity (Youssef et al., 2013).
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