Correlation between body mass index, body perception and physical activity among university students

  • Momina Khalid Riphah International University, Pakistan
  • Saleha Amin Khan Riphah International University, Pakistan
  • Memoona Awan Riphah International University, Pakistan
  • Kanwal Asif Riphah International University, Pakistan
  • Mehwish Waseem Faculty of Rehabilitation and Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University, Pakistan.
  • Muhammad Iqbal Tariq Faculty of Rehabilitation and Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University, Pakistan.
Keywords: Body mass index, Body perception, Correlation, Physical activity


Background: With the current advancement in technology, sedentary lifestyles, and decreased physical activities, university students are highly prone to distorted body perceptions and obesity. However, limited studies have been conducted about body weight and body perception in university students studying in Pakistan.

Objective: This research aimed to determine correlation between BMI, body perception and physical activity in university students.

Methods: This is a correlational study. A sample size of 437 was calculated by online sample size calculator. Non-probability convenience sampling technique was used. The study was carried out in different universities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and the tools such as International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Body Mass Index, and Figure Rating Scale were used. Data was analyzed using SPSS 22.

Results: BMI and body perception showed significant moderate positive correlation (r=0.472, p=<0.05). Physical activity showed significant weak correlation with body perception and BMI (r=0.125 and 0.024, p=<0.05).

Conclusion: It was concluded from the results of current study that students have misperceptions regarding their body weight but weight misperception was not a cognitive barrier in participants for physical activity and majority participants performed moderate to vigorous activities.

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