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Research Shows Fitness DVDs May Do More Harm Than Good

January 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. kinesiologists report that the imagery in 10 popular commercial exercise DVDs could be propagating and reinforcing “hyper-sexualized” and unrealistic body images. Most instructors and models, for example, were slim white women “dressed in revealing attire,” the researchers point out. One in every seven motivational statements they heard on the DVDs was likely to demotivate exercisers, reduce the effectiveness of the workout, deflate the user's hope and even be psychologically harmful. Fitness DVDs are a $250 million a year – mostly unregulated – industry. But there is no scientific evidence about their safety and effectiveness or the accuracy of the information contained in them, the researchers note.
Bradley J. Cardinal et al., "Critical Discourse Analysis of Motivational Content in Commercially Available Exercise DVDs: Body Capital on Display or Psychological Capital Being Developed? ", Sociology of Sport Journal, January 20, 2016, © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Dieting & Weight Control
Fitness & Exercise
North America
United States of America
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