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Physical Activity and Quality of Life

  • By: Emily L. Mailey & Edward McAuley
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

There has been an increasing interest in empirically testing the maxim that a healthy body results in a healthy mind. The consensus from several recent narrative and meta-analytic (i.e., statistical review of multiple studies) reviews is that both acute and chronic participation in physical activity have positive mental health benefits. These mental health benefits include reductions in anxiety, depression, and perceived stress as well as increases in self-confidence, positive affect, self-esteem, and cognitive function. At a more global level, there is also evidence to suggest that physical activity can have positive effects on quality of life (QOL). This is particularly important in the context of the United States, which is an increasingly aging society. Thanks to advances in modern medicine and greater engagement in ...

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