Feel Better But Exercise Less: An Examination of Exercise Enjoyment, Personality and Physical Activity in Young Adults

Subimal Datta

Published Date: 2016-01-29
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The purpose of the present study was to examine aspects of personality and exercise enjoyment on physical activity levels in young adults. Fifty-three undergraduate students (22 males and 31 females) participated in this study. Participants were asked to complete surveys assessing exercise enjoyment, personality, and physical activity level. Participants were then asked to ride a bike for 30-minutes at a moderate intensity (at 65% maximal heart rate) to assess mood. Statistical analyses revealed that physical activity was strongly correlated with enjoyment of exercise. Highly physically active participants self-reported significantly less neuroticism and greater extraversion than less active participants. After the exercise bout, there was a significant improvement in mood, with more neurotic individuals reporting the greatest improvements. The findings observed in this study emphasize the need for mental health and fitness practitioners to develop exercise programs that address individual needs and encourage the enjoyment of exercise in order to promote well-being among young adults.

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