Older Women’s Reactions to Revealing and Nonrevealing Exercise Attire

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study used a between-subjects design to examine the effects of exercise attire on older women’s feelings toward exercise groups and their self-presentational efficacy (SPE). Eighty-one older women (mean age = 70.9 years) watched a 2-min videotape showing an exercise group of older adults who were dressed in either revealing exercise attire (sleeveless T-shirts and shorts) or nonrevealing attire (short-sleeved T-shirts and long trousers). Overall there was no difference in participants’ feelings toward the 2 exercise groups, but women who were more physically active had more positive feelings toward the revealingly attired group than did women who were less active (p < .01). Similarly, there was no main effect for exercise attire on women’s SPE, but after watching the revealingly attired exercisers, women with higher social physique anxiety (SPA) reported lower SPE than did women with lower SPA (p < .05). These results suggest that for some women, the attire worn by an exercise group can affect their feelings about the group, as well as about themselves.

Sinden and Martin Ginis are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1 Canada. Angove is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1 Canada.

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