Qualitative and quantitative perspective on the physical self-concept and body image of the different fitness and sport professionals

Gustavo González-Calvo, Francisco Javier Fernández-Río


The main goal of this study was to assess, from a mixed quantitative-qualitative perspective, how physical self-concept and body image determine the identity development of the sport and physical activity professionals: personal trainers, coaches, and physical education teachers (primary and secondary education). 481 individuals completed and on-line questionnaire on physical self-concept and 18 of them were interviewed. Quantitative results showed that there are significant differences regarding body image, sport competence, physical conditioning and global physical competence among these groups and general population, but not among them; globally, significant differences favoured males in all variables. Quantitative results were analyzed around three themes: identity traits of the profession, link between body image and the profession, and the connection between the consumer culture, body image and profession. They showed differences between fitness professionals and teachers; for the first ones, body image is a strong indentify trait that depends on them, but also on external factors to them, and they are very dependent of the consumer culture.


Professional identity; Body culture; Physical capital; Ideal body

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