Gym mirrors discourage many women: study
- 08-01-2003, 01:07 PM
Gym mirrors discourage many women: study
<DIV class=storyheadline>Gym mirrors discourage many women, study finds</DIV>
<DIV class=storyheadline> </DIV>
<DIV class=storyheadline>Leave more tired, down</DIV>
Women who exercise in front of mirrors, such as those common in fitness clubs, feel worse after their workouts than those who train without such a view of their efforts, Canadian researchers say.
A study of women who infrequently exercise found that working out in front of a mirror for 20 minutes left them feeling less energized, less relaxed and less positive than women doing the same exercise without the mirror.
The impact of the reflection was so great, in fact, that the women who watched themselves left the gym feeling worse than when they arrived, the researchers found.
"I think they are coming in and thinking, 'Man, do I ever look like crap. I'm sweating like crazy. I look out of shape. My thighs are fat.' All that kind of stuff," said Kathleen Martin Ginis, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton and lead author of the study to be published today in Health Psychology.
That takes a toll on women, she said.
"This was found to be the case regardless of how you feel about your body.
"It is kind of frightening that even if you feel really good about your body, you are not immune to the negative effects of the mirrors. You go in and exercise in front of the mirror and you come out feeling worse than when you went in," Dr. Martin said.
The research challenges the notion that mirrors, whole walls of which cover many health and fitness clubs, help people into a regular workout routine.
The American College of Sports Medicine even recommends in its published guidelines that fitness clubs have mirrors on at least two of their four walls.
Dr. Martin said that recommendation should be reconsidered.
"If you want to entice sedentary women to start exercising, getting them away from a mirrored environment is a good idea because no one is going to want to go out and regularly start exercising if they feel worse than when they started," she said.
Her study, called "To See or Not To See," flows from a body of research into the so-called mirror effect on women.
"If you have women sit down in front of a mirror for a while, their mood is going to fall regardless of what they're doing. Have them sit and gaze into a mirror and they are going to feel crappy after a period of time," Dr. Martin said.
Dr. Martin and colleagues studied 58 university women who normally participated in less than one moderate or strenuous 15-minute bout of exercise each week.
Each woman rode a stationary bicycle at a moderate pace for 20 minutes while wearing loose-fitting shorts, a T-shirt and running shoes. The women were interviewed about their body image and their feelings before and after the workout.
The mirror effect is not as pronounced in men, and they were not included in the study.
Dr. Martin studies the psycho-social aspects of exercise and health-related behaviours. She researches how concerns about what others think of us influence both healthy and health-damaging behaviours.</DIV>
- 08-01-2003, 03:34 PM
Women like this:
58 university women who normally participated in less than one moderate or strenuous 15-minute bout of exercise each week.
Are more likely to look like ****. 15 minutes of moderate exercise per week? I imagine they are whales. Of course the mirror will turn them off if they are fat beasts. Besides its not about feeling great after you get out of the gym, to improve your body you have to work hard, and not a lazy half assed rate. Most women don't understand that, they're just at the gym taking up space.
- 08-01-2003, 04:18 PM
EBE, now you can't really generalize that much.. even if they aren't beasts as you called them they may see themselves much differently than the others and one thing you have to remember is women really do think differently than guys do.. it is more along a different chemical pathway than ours.. so this could be a very valid study but 58 is a very very small sample group and it would be very hard IMO to get a very meaningful conculsion from that... for all we know, he got all the women with self esteem problems anyway.. needs to do be done with about 1000 women or more to be come more valid.
08-01-2003, 05:47 PM
I agree with Matt on this one, EBE if you haven't learned yet, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. The differences between the sexes are astounding at times.
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08-01-2003, 06:32 PM
08-01-2003, 10:49 PM
08-02-2003, 12:10 AM
I love looking in the mirrors as I pump away, I always wear a tank top, hell I would wear no shirt if I wasn't the only one. I find it to be great motivation to see all the muscle flexing and working as you go. In the end you stand before a pumped up version of yourself.
I find them to be great for motivating you and well as keeping and eye out for great form on some lifts.
That's just my 2 cents
08-02-2003, 12:15 AM
They need to pick a broader sample group as well. Drawing participants ONLY from the sedentary group proves to be very ineffective and biased. These are women whom do basically no physical activities, how do you think they're going to feel about themselves after actually DOING something for once in their lives, whether it is in front of a mirror or not. Of course they are going to feel like ****. They just physically exerted themselves for the first time ever, it's natural to feel down on yourself!Originally posted by Matthew D
needs to do be done with about 1000 women or more to be come more valid.
This study is HEAVILY skewed and just goes to show how terribly mislead a good intentioned researcher can go if they don't take into account all the possible variables and their inherent variations.
Last edited by dermalgear; 08-05-2003 at 07:56 PM.
08-02-2003, 12:35 AM
08-02-2003, 02:36 PM
08-08-2003, 10:05 AM
this is so true....using the 1000 number i wish they would do it with 500 women who exercised reglarly and 500 who were sendentary. that would give a good sampling from both groups and a good basis for comparison and drawing conclusions., imo.Originally posted by dermalgear
They need to pick a broader sample group as well.&nbsp; Drawing participants ONLY from the sedentary group proves to be very ineffective and biased.&nbsp; These are women whom do basically no physical activities, how do you think they're going to feel about themselves after actually DOING something for once in their lives, whether it is in front of a mirror or not.&nbsp; Of course they are going to feel like ****.&nbsp; They just physically exerted themselves for the first time ever, it's natural to feel down on yourself!
This study is HEAVILY skewed and just goes to show how terribly mislead a good intentioned researcher can go if they don't take into account&nbsp;all the possible variables and their inherent variations.
08-08-2003, 12:59 PM
08-08-2003, 10:46 PM
Aren't the mirrors in most gyms slightly deformed to make one look wider?
Around here, there are quite a few gyms that have these. Just a SLIGHT deformation, but for someone who wants to feel flimsy, that's just not working.
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