Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Jacqueline Augustine


Objective: Body image issues are very prevalent among college students and can cause a variety of physical and mental health problems as determined by previous research. The SUNY Cortland student population, which tends to have a higher active student population than other campuses, may have a unique correlation between exercise and body image. This study aims to examine the impact of body image ideals in SUNY Cortland students in relation to exercise habits.

Methods: This study was conducted through survey-based methodology and distributed to various classes and organizations of undergraduate SUNY Cortland students through Google Forms. A total sample of 74 students answered a two-part questionnaire consisting of the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (PASB-Q) and the Body Image State Scale (BISS).

Results: The study found no significant differences between male and female responses, and between those classified with good body image and poor body image. A significant correlation was found between sedentary time and body image score, with higher sedentary time correlating with lower body image score. Other significant findings included a correlation between total activity time and muscle strength activities and between total activity time and total sedentary time.

Conclusion: As a result of college students having high daily total sedentary time, body image perceptions are being negatively impacted. It is important to promote physical activity and healthy screen time consumption, so students develop healthy habits. In addition, resources on campus should focus on promoting ways to help those struggling with poor body image.