UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

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Document Type



Health Psychology | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases | Psychiatry and Psychology | Public Health


Sedentary behaviors, low levels of physical activity (PA), and low body image quality of life have been identified during college years and associated with poor health outcomes. Public health efforts have recently focused on decreasing sedentary time by increasing light physical activity, both of which have been associated with body image quality of life, though mainly through self-report. In this cross-sectional study, we examined objective actigraphy and survey data from 404 of 459 young adults with overweight and obesity (mean age 23.3 +/- 4.4 years, 78.4% female, 55.4% white). PA was measured using an accelerometer worn during waking hours for > 10 h/day for four days. Body image quality of life was assessed using the Body Image Quality of Life Inventory Scale. Body image was positively correlated with light PA (r = 0.15) and inversely correlated with BMI (Pearson's r = -0.20) and sedentary time (r = -0.10), but not moderate PA, vigorous PA, or MVPA. Light PA and sedentary time were significantly inversely correlated (r = -0.38). When controlling for covariates, higher body image quality of life was significantly associated with higher levels of light PA (beta = 0.39; p < 0.01) and lower sedentary time (beta = -0.39; p = 0.02). Participants with lower body image quality of life enrolled in weight loss interventions may benefit from prescriptions of light PA in conjunction with decreasing sedentary behaviors.


body image quality of life, physical activity, sedentary, weight loss

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Copyright © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

DOI of Published Version



Faro JM, Whiteley JA, Hayman LL, Napolitano MA. Body Image Quality of Life Related to Light Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among Young Adults with Overweight/Obesity. Behav Sci (Basel). 2021 Aug 12;11(8):111. doi: 10.3390/bs11080111. PMID: 34436101; PMCID: PMC8389257. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.