Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Physical Activity and Mood
Physical activity is thought to have positive effects on mood and psychological well-being. Many people report feeling better after exercising, although this is by no means universal. It has also been proposed that regular physical activity relieves depression and helps people cope with stress. This entry examines the evidence underlying these claims, summarizing the information that has been obtained from several very different research paradigms. The implications of a favorable effect of physical activity on mood are far reaching, since they are relevant to the well-being of the population at large, the mental health of vulnerable individuals, and the maintenance of long-term adherence to physical activity programs. A number of cross-sectional population or epidemiological studies have assessed associations between levels of physical activity and mental health. Physical activity has been positively related to general well-being, and negatively associated with anxiety and depression, in representative population samples in several countries. Such ...