Paper Type

Master's Thesis


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Dr. Michele Bednarzyk

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathaleen Bloom

Department Chair

Dr. Lillia M. Loriz

College Dean

Dr. Pamela S. Chally


Children develop beliefs about ideal body image and carry these perceptions into adulthood. Consequences of poor body image may include decreased self-esteem, depression, unhealthy lifestyle, and eating disorders. Understanding healthy lifestyle behaviors and the relationship between body image and these behaviors can empower individuals to engage in behaviors to improve health. Pender’s health promotion model provided the theoretical framework for this study. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between body image and healthy lifestyle behaviors among undergraduate university students. An email was sent to undergraduate students, providing a link to the survey that included: demographic, body dissatisfaction, and screen time questions; Prochaska’s physical activity screening measure; and a lifestyle profile by Walker, Sechrist, and Pender. A total of 1056 usable surveys were returned. The majority (71%) were satisfied with their body image, although many (60.3%) wanted to alter it. Most (65.1%) had a normal BMI. Sedentary activity was more than the recommended amount, with only 23.3% meeting physical activity guidelines. Healthy lifestyle behaviors were engaged in “sometimes” and “often, but not routinely.” Body image was correlated with healthy lifestyle behaviors. There was a moderate correlation between activity and body image, and a negative correlation between sedentary activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors.