This entry discusses the nature of self-esteem and the impact of sport and physical exercise in shaping and enhancing perceptions of one's physical self, feelings of personal worth, and sense of autonomy.


Self-esteem is regarded as a critical element of mental health. Low self-esteem often accompanies depression and anxiety, and conversely, high self-esteem suggests personal confidence and high levels of achievement. Self-esteem is therefore associated with healthier lifestyle decisions, such as not smoking, exercising, and eating well.

Although the self has been the focus of writings from philosophy, psychology, sociology, theology, and other areas of scholarship, why some people experience high self-esteem while others do not is not fully understood. It is generally higher in men but seems to be largely unpredicted by socioeconomic status, ethnic origin, ...

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