Title

Women and Weights: Understanding Stereotypes and Misconceptions

Date of Graduation

Summer 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Research Sponsor

Dr. Judith Juvancic-Heltzel

First Reader

Melissa Smith

Second Reader

Stacey Buser

Abstract

Exercise is a vital part of staying healthy, especially as we age. Resistance exercise has many known benefits, but older women are rarely seen in weight rooms. In order to understand why older women avoid resistance based exercise in the form of weightlifting, a survey was conducted among female faculty and staff members to determine if common misconceptions, such as the myth that women will hypertrophy through weightlifting, are among the reasons that women do not weightlift. The population group was asked to compare their opinions of weightlifting to statements in the survey using the Likert scale. While 97% of participants did not believe that weightlifting is linked to excessive hypertrophy, 40% of participants indicated that they do not feel comfortable in the weight room of a gym. The atmosphere of a weight room may be inhibiting older women from utilizing its resources.

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