Unpacking the feel-good effect of free-time physical activity: Between- and within-person associations with pleasant-activated feeling states

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Abstract

Physical activity is a widely accessible and effective tool for improving well-being. This study aimed to unpack the feel-good effects of free-time physical activity. Multilevel models were applied to repeated measures of daily free-time physical activity and four types of feeling states obtained from 190 undergraduate students. Physical activity was not associated with pleasant-deactivated, unpleasant- activated, or unpleasant-deactivated feelings. People who were more physically active overall had higher pleasant-activated feelings than people who were less physically active, and on days when people were more physically active than was typical for them, they reported higher levels of pleasant-activated feelings. Both the between- and within-person associations remained significant after controlling for day of week, sleep quality, and carryover effects of previous day free-time physical activity and feeling states. Results suggest that both increases in overall levels and acute bouts of free-time physical activity are associated with increases in feelings of pleasant-activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-902
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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