the Center for Gender Studies @ Ru                                        
Dr. Patti Watkins: Women's Studies - Oregon State UniversityFeel WonderFull Fitness: 
A Feminist Approach to     
Physical Activity for     
Larger Women     

Presented by                 
 Dr. Patti L. Watkins              
Women's Studies Progarm           

Oregon State University               
Presentation Time & Location
November 15th, 3:30 pm, Fall Term, 2005 --- Heth Hall, Lounge B - Radford University
Open to the Public --- Admission is Free
View our Watksins Flyer

Presentation Themes
Despite the many benefits of exercise, most Americans, particularly women, do not engage in physical activity on a regular basis. Furthermore, exercise behavior tends to decrease with age. Indeed, middle- and older-aged women are the least likely demographic to exercise, and those who are overweight are especially disinclined to participate. Larger women represent a subset of the population long neglected in public health interventions. Thus, a need exists to identify barriers to physical activity for this group and to devise tailored interventions to overcome these obstacles. Recent research suggests there are both physical and psychosocial barriers that must be addressed to facilitate exercise among larger women. For these individuals, overly vigorous exercise can present a physical burden, resulting in pain, injury, or fatigue if not commensurate with initial abilities. Psychosocial barriers include lack of peer role models, lack of social support, and the experience of social physique anxiety--a fear (often reality-based) of censure from others due to one’s weight, shape, and size. This last barrier is so salient that Eklund (1998) labels social physique anxiety a “public health concern” for this demographic group. This presentation is based upon a clinical report aiming to delineate an empirically-derived exercise program tailored specifically for women “size 14 and up.” The exercise facility and classes will be described in sufficient detail that practitioners may devise or recommend similar interventions for their larger women clients. Also, psychological characteristics of the participants will be presented so that clinicians might be apprised of the particular forms of distress experienced by this population. Finally, participants’ verbal reports will be presented to illustrate ways in which the program addressed the aforementioned barriers as well as ways in which the program impacted participants’ quality of life.

Dr. Patti L. Watkins,  Women's Studies - Oregon State University Background Information
Dr. Watkins completed her Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Virginia Tech (1982-1985), and an Internship in Clinical Psychology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Jackson VAMC (1985-1986). She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Science at Oregon State University.
Here is a short bio of her previous positions:
1999-2003 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology & Women's Studies
                    Program, Oregon State University
1993-1999 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Oregon State University
1989-1993 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Washington State University
1986-1989 NHLBI Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington University of St. Louis
                    Medical Center
For additional background and current contact information, visit the links below.

For more information, please contact:
     Ms. Jessica Dryman: tel 540-831-6644 - email   
          or  Dr. Hilary Lips: tel 540-831-5361- email       
 Patti L. Watkins' Links:   additional contact info   School of Psychological Science   OSU
  Presentation Links:  The Watkins Flyer     
  Gender Center & Radford University Links:
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h. lips  &   w. andrew       ©2005 H. Lips & W. Andrew       Last updated: August 14th 2013