Body Image & Health Research Lab

Founded in psychological perspectives in kinesiology, our research focuses on understanding
body image and body (in)equity as it relates to movement, mental health and well-being.

The Body Image & Health (BIH) Lab is a research team directed by Dr. Eva Pila and is part of the School of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University in Ontario, Canada. Founded in psychological perspectives in kinesiology, our research focuses on understanding body image and body (in)equity as it relates to movement, mental health and well-being.

Specifically, our research seeks to understand relationships between body (in)equity on the basis of shape, size, weight, ability and function, movement-based behaviours including exercise, physical activity, and sport, and mental health, illness, and well-being. A main goal of this research is to develop psychological interventions, currently centred on self-compassion, to promote the health and well-being of individuals in marginalized bodies.

We integrate frameworks from health, exercise, social, and clinical psychology to understand conditions that disproportionately impact individuals in marginalized states (e.g., physical inactivity, weight stigma, eating disorders, mood disorders, breast cancer). We draw on both quantitative and qualitative methods, with a particular interest in acute experimental and intensive longitudinal research designs.

Current Research

Understanding and Alleviating Weight Stigma in Adolescent Athletes

Exploring Body Image during Movement-Based Behaviours

Group Compassion Intervention for Weight Stigma & Mood Disorders

Promoting Joyful and Compassionate
Movement

The Team

Eva Pila, PhD

Dr. Eva Pila is an Assistant Professor at Western University in the School of Kinesiology. Her academic background consists of a BSc in Kinesiology and Psychology at McMaster University, MSc in Exercise Science (Behavioural Stream) at McGill University/University of Toronto, PhD in Exercise Science (Behavioural Stream). She completed a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Women’s College Hospital, and the University of Saskatchewan.