More than looking good: Impact on quality of life moderates the relationship between functional body image and physical activity in men with SCI
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STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional. OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between body image and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) among men with spinal cord injury (SCI). Specifically, to examine the moderating function of the perceived impact of body image on quality of life (QOL). SETTING: Ontario, Canada. METHODS: Men with SCI (N=50, 50% paraplegic) reported, (a) their functional and appearance body image (Adult Body Satisfaction Questionnaire), (b) their perceived impact of body image on QOL and (c) LTPA performed over the previous 3 days. RESULTS: Body image was in the 'normal' range compared with the general population. Linear regression analysis found a significant LTPA x body image impact on QOL interaction beta=0.39, P<0.05. Post hoc analysis showed that among individuals who reported a negative effect of body image on QOL, those who engaged in LTPA were less satisfied with their physical function than those who did not. For those who did not perceive their body image to negatively impact their QOL, there was generally no difference in functional body image between those who engaged in LTPA and those who did not. CONCLUSION: Appearance body image is not related to LTPA for men with SCI. It has been suggested that body dissatisfaction may motivate some individuals to engage in LTPA. However, for men living with SCI, functional body image may be associated with LTPA only when a negative effect on QOL is perceived. Future research should consider the moderating function of the perceived impact of body image on QOL when examining the relationship between LTPA and body image among men living with SCI.