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Self‐esteem development through participation in physical activity

Ian M. Cockerill (Chartered Psychologist and is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham. He also works with sportsmen and women to international level in a variety of team and individual sports)

Employee Counselling Today

ISSN: 0955-8217

Article publication date: 1 December 1995


It is a popular belief that exercise participation has both physical and psychological benefits and, more specifically, that performance at work, cognitive function and overall self‐esteem may be enhanced through exercise. While research in this area is variable, it has been shown that a meta‐analytic approach is likely to provide reliable and valid evidence that exercise benefits extend beyond physical health and fitness. If exercise promotes self‐esteem, it is also appropriate that individual differences in perceived locus of control as an agent of self‐efficacy are recognized by employers in order that exercise programmes are adhered to; otherwise benefits that might accrue could result in the opposite outcome. Briefly discusses the importance of goal setting and the potential role of counselling and draws parallels between aspects of psychology in sport and at work.



Cockerill, I.M. (1995), "Self‐esteem development through participation in physical activity", Employee Counselling Today, Vol. 7 No. 7, pp. 14-17.




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