Using exercise DVDs to work out at home may sound like a good idea but these DVDs may have negative, hyper-sexualised imagery and de-motivating language, says a new study.
“The findings showed that imagery in fitness videos may be perpetuating and reinforcing hyper-sexualised and unrealistic body images,” said Brad Cardinal, a Kinesiology professor at the Oregon State University.
De-motivating statements that could reduce the effectiveness of the workout — diminishing the user’s hope and potentially causing psychological harm — were also found in the fitness DVDs.
For the study, the researchers reviewed 10 popular, instructor-led fitness DVDs, evaluating both the imagery used in the videos as well as the motivational language used by the instructors.
The goal was to better understand the visual and auditory messaging and how it might affect users.
According to Cardinal, fitness DVDs are a $250 million industry but there is no scientific evidence about their safety, thereby raising concerns and effectiveness or the accuracy of the information contained in them.
The findings urge fitness DVDs consumers to be mindful of the potential pitfalls of the product when selecting and using exercise videos.
The findings are forthcoming in the Sociology of Sport Journal.