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Title:The Relationship of Physical Activity to Physical and Psychological Well-Being
Author(s):Hayes, Barbara Diane
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ross, Catherine E.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Psychology, Physiological
Abstract:A community telephone survey of 401 Illinois adults indicates that differences in sporting behavior are most apparent when looking at type of activity (i.e. team versus individual involvement). Women, non-whites and persons from lower social classes are stratified into specific types of activities, yet the amount of time they spend participating is similar to that of men, whites and individuals in upper social classes. The elderly and the employed are the only groups that spend significantly less time participating in physical activities than the young and unemployed. Therefore, health benefits resulting from exercise are not equally experienced by the elderly and the employed.
The next part of the study looks at how involvement in physical activity influences psychological well-being. Two theories (one based on aerobic intensity of activity and the other based on norms regarding appropriate sporting behavior) are offered for why physical activity improves psychological well-being. The aerobic level of the activity does not directly improve psychological well-being. Bowling offers the same health benefits as jogging when similar time is spent in each activity. Additionally, involvement in socially approved activities does not improve psychological well-being as expected. In fact, participation in non-normative activities significantly improves psychological well-being suggesting that the health benefits produced by exercise are more important than complying with traditional norms regarding sport involvement.
Three stage least squares is used to estimate a model indicating the relationship between physical activity, subjective well-being and psychological well-being. Support is revealed for the following relationship: physical activity improves subjective well-being (partially by controlling one's weight), subjective well-being improves psychological well-being and psychological well-being increases participation in sport and physical activity. This supports much of the literature (Greist et al. 1979; McCann and Holmes 1984; Blue 1979; Doyne et al. 1983) which suggests that exercise directly decreases depression and anxiety. Yet, there is also some evidence for an indirect effect, via improved subjective well-being. Psychological well-being increases sport participation which is a reciprocal effect that is often overlooked in the literature.
Issue Date:1988
Description:173 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823140
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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