Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Is positive self-perception a determinant of cardiovascular performance? A didactic and sustainable view in female university students

Salvador Baena-Morales, Honorato Morente-Oria, Olalla García-Taibo, Francisco Tomás González-Fernández



Traditionally women have been less active and physically active than men. Although the recent literature indicates this gender gap, the sexes' difference when practicing sport seems to be decreasing. This study framework's importance could be reflected in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) proposed by UNESCO, which highlight the need to generate strategies to improve health (SDG 3) and equalize opportunities between men and women (SDG 4). The reasons for these differences are multifactorial, with intrinsic and extrinsic motivations indicated as requiring further research. Self-perception in physical performance has been documented to influence women to perform the exercise and physical activity. Therefore, this research aimed to identify and healthy women's self-perception and motivations to perform in a VO2max test. A total of 31 women (21.12 ± 2.01) completed the research. The study was divided into two principal tests. On the one hand, the measurement of a sub-maximal incremental stress test following established ASCM indications. Heart rate and ventilatory parameters were measured during the stress test using a metabolic measurement system and a gas analyser. After the test, the study sample completed the self-completed Healthy Lifestyle Questionnaire and the International Short Form Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF), and the Self Report of Reasons for Physical Activity (AMPEF). Correlation between VO2Max and average weight and body image (r = .001) was detected, showing the positive relationship between both values. The results obtained help confirm the importance of a positive self-perception in women regarding their weight and body image for better physical performance. Although these findings cannot be generalized, they establish a potential relationship between better physical performance and self-perception in most adults.


Physical activity; Women; Self-perception; Motivations


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