A smart-phone based study suggest that physical activity, even those that are not categorized as an exercise, promote emotional well-being.
Researchers at University of Cambridge and the University of Essex found that an increase of a person's emotional well-being regardless of their baseline level of happiness is linked to their physical activity during the day. Reports came from a number of 10,000 test participants.
The research team confirmed the result through a data collected from a mood tracking app for Android phones. The findings also include the idea that a physically active person is happier.
The app uses mobile accelerometers
, which measure acceleration and detects screen orientation or rotation of the device to measure the physical activity of the participants. The participants receive short survey at two random intervals during the day to ask them of their emotional state. The sets of questions asked include the level of emotions through grid-based selection from negative to positive. Other questions include how energetic or emotional they were feeling.
Dr Jason Rentfrow, lead author of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology and a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College said, "Our data show that happy people are more active in general."
"There have been many studies about the positive psychological effects of exercise, but what we’ve found is that in order to be happier, you don’t have to go out and run a marathon – all you’ve really got to do is periodically engage in slight physical activity throughout the day."
A lack of physical activity aligns with that of a sedentary lifestyle, which according to other studies is one of the causes of preventable death.
Does that mean a couch potato is depressive? I hope you don't need a tub of ice cream to answer that.
The study is published in PLOS ONE journal.