A study of 18-25 year old going through huge life changes showed that their enjoyment of life increased on days when they exercised more than usual.
Emerging adults are going through a lot of changes; they are leaving home for the first time and attending college or starting jobs,” said Jaclyn Maher of Penn State University.
“As a result, their satisfaction with life can plummet. We decided to focus on emerging adults because they stand to benefit the most from strategies to enhance satisfaction with life.”
The researchers recruited two groups of college students for their project.
They were able to determine that the amount of physical activity a person undertakes in a particular day directly influences his or her satisfaction with life.
Specifically, the team found that by exercising just a little more than usual a person can significantly improve his or her satisfaction with life.
“Based on these findings, we recommend that people exercise a little longer or a little harder than usual as a way to boost satisfaction with life,” said David Conroy Professor of Kinesiology.
The study is published online in the journal Health Psychology.