How to support positive body image in older adults by Shari Feuz and Jenifer Milner
Research and case studies reveal that body dissatisfaction can persist across the life span or start during middle and later life (Feuz, 2005). This means that as a fitness or wellness professional who works with older adults, you should expect to encounter clients with negative body image, and would be wise to prepare.
Body image refers to “an individual’s psychological experience of the appearance and function of his/her body and is one aspect of an individual’s mental representation of him/herself” (Friedman et al., 2002). This complex phenomenon influences behavior and self-esteem. When someone has negative body image, it permeates all aspects of life, with extreme body dissatisfaction leading to behaviors that adversely affect physical and mental health.