Body-scaled action in obesity during locomotion: Insights on the nature and extent of body representation disturbances

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Conscious perception of our own body, also known as body image, can influence body-scaled actions. Certain conditions such as obesity are frequently accompanied by a negative body image, leaving open the question if body-scaled actions are distorted in these individuals. Methods To shed light on this issue, we asked individuals affected by obesity to process dimensions of their own body in a real action: they walked in a straight-ahead direction, while avoiding collision with obstacles represented by door-like openings that varied in width. Results Participants affected by obesity showed a body rotation behavior similar to that of the healthy weighted, but differences emerged in parameters such as step length and velocity. Conclusion When participants with obesity walk through door-like openings, their body parts rotation is scaled according to their physical body dimensions; however, they might try to minimize risk of collision. Our study is in line with the hypothesis that unconscious body-scaled actions are related to emotional, cognitive and perceptual components of a negative body image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • 3D movement analysis
  • Action
  • Body image
  • Body schema
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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