Emily Fullhardt


Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

Document Type



There has been much research that has examined the association between exercise and self-esteem. Specifically, research suggests that there is a positive association of high intensity exercise, including running, weight lifting, and interval training, with self-esteem in both children and adults. However, much of this past research involved experiments where an exercise regimen was introduced to test cause and effect of exercise and self-esteem. Further, much of the past research focused on adults outside of the United States (Hasanpour, Yìğiter, Yook). I aim to test whether there are associations of preferences for and attitudes towards high intensity exercise with self-esteem among adults based on their own self-reported attitudes and preferences. In this non-experimental study, I recruited participants through social media and via emails to participate in answering a survey that included measures of self-esteem and attitudes towards exercise. Based on past research, I hypothesized that there would be positive associations of participants’ preferences for and attitudes towards high intensity exercise with self-esteem. I conducted correlational and regression analyses with survey responses from adults. I did not find a correlation between the preference for and tolderance of high-intensity exercise and self-esteem but I believe that this is because there is a difference between atittude towards exercise and the actual physical activity of exercise.