Health: Acne May Reduce Students' Enjoyment of Physical Activity

Health: Acne May Reduce Students' Enjoyment of Physical Activity

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

There are a number of reasons why students may avoid physical education class, but here's one you may not have considered… acne.

A study involving interviews with 50 acne patients has shown that the anxiety of revealing their skin condition can make sufferers dread physical education classes and sports.

The reason is that the clothing typically worn in such activities exposes large areas of the skin, making it more likely that the sufferer's condition will be evaluated by peers.

When you have students who are self-conscious about their acne, some flexibility in their PE uniform might be in order.  Allowing them to wear sweat pants, tights and/or long-sleeved T-shirts might reduce their anxiety about their appearance and make fitness activity more enjoyable. And fostering a love for physical activity is one of the primary goals of any physical education program!

Reference: Tom Loney, Martyn Standage, Stephen Lewis (University of Bath, UK), “Not Just `Skin Deep': Psychosocial Effects of Dermatological-related Social Anxiety in a Sample of Acne Patients.”  Journal of Health Psychology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 47-54 (2008).

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