Fitness DVDs can pyschologically harm people: study

Exercise DVDs may include negative imagery and demotivating language.

Washington, D.C.: If you are planning to use fitness DVDs to work out at home, then think of some other option as new study has revealed that the fitness DVDs can be psychologically harmful for users.

The researches undertaken by Oregon State University have found that exercise DVDs may include negative imagery and demotivating language. Brad Cardinal, lead researcher and a kinesiology professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University said, a study of 10 popular commercial exercise DVDs have showed that the imagery in the fitness videos may be perpetuating and reinforcing hyper-sexualized and unrealistic body images.

Researchers found that one in every seven motivational statements on the DVDs was actually a demotivating statement that could reduce the effectiveness of the workout, diminish the user's hope and can cause psychological harm. Cardinal further pointed out that there is no scientific evidence about their safety and effectiveness or the accuracy of the information contained in fitness DVDs, and the industry is largely unregulated.

For the study, the researchers reviewed 10 popular, instructor-led fitness DVDs, evaluating both the imagery used in the videos as well as the motivational language used by the instructors. Researchers found that a quarter of the language used by instructors was motivational, but one of every seven motivational statements was considered negative.

Negative statements included phrases such as "say hello to your sexy six-pack," "you better be sweating," and "you should be dying right now." The study concluded that those kinds of phrases focus on outcomes, encourage social comparison, and don't take into account individual differences in health or fitness. The study is published in the journal Sociology of Sport.

( Source : ANI )
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