Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Angela Hollingsworth


Exercise for women, Cardiopulmonary fitness, Stationary bicycles, Cycling--Training, Body image in women


Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project was to implement a program over an eight-week period that increased cardiovascular exercise, specifically indoor cycling, by at least 45 minutes a week to analyze the relationship between an increase in activity and exercise motivation, health perception, and body image within the female population. Background and Significance: Obesity is strongly linked to medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, cardiovascular accidents, and diabetes. Research has shown that regular cardiovascular exercise can help prevent these conditions from developing. However, barriers to exercise such as a lack of motivation, body image concerns, and a negative health perception can prevent patients from following through with regular exercise. Providers are responsible for creating individualized plans that consider these barriers to improve compliance and positive health behaviors. Design: A one group pre-test-post-test design was used. Participants were 14 active females who participated in an eight-week project that required an increase in indoor cycling minutes based on the Self Determination Theory to identify changes in exercise motivation, body image, and health perception. Findings: Participants showed improvements in body image from pre-test to post-test (a<0.05). Health perception also showed improvement in the following categories: energy, emotional well-being, pain, and general health. Exercise motivation remained stable pre and post-test, with the primary sources of motivation being strength and endurance, weight management, and positive health measures. Conclusion: Project results confirmed that indoor cycling improves health perception and body image with consistency in exercise motivation, therefore, proving to be a good source of cardiovascular exercise to help reduce barriers while potentially lowering risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.



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