Body Image Appreciation Associated With Life Satisfaction, Study Shows

In Education

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University emphasize the significance of self-acceptance for happiness and contentment. They find a strong link between a positive body image and improved psychological well-being and life satisfaction.

Body appreciation concept requires positive viewpoints

These results stem from an extensive investigation, marking it as among the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken on the subject of body image. The study encompassed a vast cohort of 56,968 individuals residing in 65 different countries. To elaborate further, the research centered on the concept of body appreciation, which is characterized as embracing, fostering positive viewpoints towards, and showing reverence for one’s body, while simultaneously dismissing the media-driven standards of physical attractiveness as the exclusive definition of human beauty.

Previous studies have shown that there is a consistent association between elevated levels of body appreciation and various favorable well-being characteristics, such as self-esteem and the adoption of healthy dietary practices. Likewise, maintaining a positive body image has been demonstrated to decrease the likelihood of experiencing mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

A group of scientists, led by ARU, conducted a global study involving participants from 65 countries. They used the Body Appreciation Scale-2 (BAS-2), a questionnaire with 10 items, to assess body appreciation, including statements like “I respect my body” and “I appreciate the unique characteristics of my body.”

Body appreciation associated with higher psychological well being

The study found a strong link between greater body appreciation and higher psychological well-being worldwide, as measured by life satisfaction. Single individuals and those in rural areas tended to have higher body appreciation. However, there were significant variations in body appreciation scores across nations, with Australia, India, and the UK having the lowest scores, and Malta having the highest.

This extensive study is one of the largest investigations into body image and it underscores the significance of promoting positive body image worldwide, as it reveals a connection between greater body appreciation and improved psychological well-being. Viren Swami, the lead author and a Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, emphasizes the need for strategies to enhance body image on a global scale.

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