Text Size
Smaller
Bigger
Life Satisfaction

The Secret to Happiness? A Few Extra Minutes of Exercise Each Day

posted 12:11 AM EST, Thu November 01, 2012

Penn State researchers say you can improve your sense of well-being and life satisfaction by exercising just a little bit harder or for just a little bit longer than you normally do.

Would you invest a few more sweaty minutes of exercise each day for a pay-off of substantially improved life satisfaction?

Scientists say that you have more control over your well-being than you probably realize, and that one of the best ways to enhance your sense of life satisfaction is by exercising for a few extra minutes each day.

The Experiment

Penn State University researchers recruited 190, 18-25 year old study subjects to participate in a life satisfaction experiment.

For 8 to 14 days, study subjects answered questions on a daily basis about life satisfaction at the moment, recent physical activity, self esteem and other variables.

The Results

After controlling for variables that could influence life satisfaction, such as depression, anxiety, stress, a high body mass index and fatigue, the research team found that exercise was significantly correlated to improved life satisfaction.

Subjects reported feeling greater life satisfaction on days with more physical activity and feeling less satisfied on more sedentary days.

Subjects reported the largest bump in life satisfaction on days when they exercised harder or for a few minutes longer than normal.

Commentary

The study authors say governments looking to boost macro-level mental health need to consider public health polices which encourage physical activity - and at the individual level, anyone wanting to feel a bit better about life ought to try sweating it out for a few extra minutes each day.

Read the full research findings in Health Psychology.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Story Highlights
  • Happiness: A few extra minutes of exercise each day may be all you need to feel greater life satisfaction
  • Public Health Opportunities: Researchers say governments could enhance macro level mental health through polices which encouraged more physical activity
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Call Now for
Rehab Options
Insurance Accepted
(Except Medicare)
Helpful Information
Use Gut Bacteria to Fight Anxiety and Depression
Gut Bacteria Protect Your Mental Health. Learn How to Protect Your Microbiome © NIAID
Imbalanced gut bacteria may increase your risk of anxiety, depression, obesity and a host of other diseases. Learn how digestive bacteria can cause anxiety and find out how dietary changes can help you instill or protect an optimal balance of beneficial bacteria. Read Article
Co-Occurring Disorders May 26, 2016
Healing the Body, Mind and Spirit after Addiction
Tips for Healing the Body, Mind and Spirit after Addiction © Laris.Sa*
Addiction is a disease that damages the body, mind and spirit. Here's a how-to guide to healing your physical, mental and spiritual health once in recovery. Read Article
Addiction Recovery September 18, 2013 (3)
Finding Balance: A Healthy Lifestyle Self Test
Creating Balance and Life Satisfaction: A 23 Question Diagnostic Tool to Identify What’s Missing from Your Life © Jesse.Millan
You don’t get addiction treatment to create a life without drugs or alcohol - you get it to create a BETTER life without drugs or alcohol. Finding moderation and balance in life helps to protect you from relapse and ultimately, to be happier and more fulfilled. Take this quick self test to find out what areas you need to work on. Read Article
Counseling November 04, 2012 (3)
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.