246 Exercise & Well Being

Based on research by: Hassmen, Peter, Koivula, Nathali, & Uutela, Antti. (2000). Written by: Mara Rowcliffe, MS

It is well known that regular exercise has many positive physical benefits.  But did you know it can enhance psychological well-being too?

A Finland psychology study evaluated the association between the amount of physical exercise and several measures of psychological well-being.  3400 participants between the ages of 25 and 64, answered a survey assessing their fitness, exercise habits, and perceived health, as well as measures of depression, anger, and other personality characteristics.

The results of the study showed that participants who exercised at least two to three times a week experienced less depression, anger, cynical distrust, and stress compared to those who did not exercise as frequently.  In addition, regular exercisers also perceived their overall health and fitness to be better.  Those who exercised at least two times a week reported higher levels of a sense of confidence that their world is manageable and meaningful, and a stronger feeling of social belonging.

So, regular exercise has many psychological benefits, for women, men, and all ages.

During this holiday season, enhance your happiness!  Make sure to integrate exercise into your social life and weekly routine.  You and your loved ones will benefit physically and psychologically.


Hassmen, P., Koivula, N., & Uutela, A. (2000). Physical exercise and psychological well-being: a population study in Finland. Preventive medicine, 30(1), 17-25.

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