Exercise Brings More Happiness Than Money: Oxford and Yale Research

  • April 7, 2019

It’s official now. Exercise will not only improve your physical and mental health but it will bring more happiness than financial well being.  

Researchers at Yale and Oxford have come to that conclusion after a recent study. The study was published in The Lancet, and it involved  data about the physical behaviour and mental mood of over 1.2 million Americans. Participants were asked to choose from 75 types of physical activity including lawn-mowing, childcare,  housework,  weight lifting, cycling, running etc.

It was found that, while those who exercised regularly tended to feel bad for around 35 days a year, non-active participants felt bad for 53 days on average. The research also found that  physically active people feel just as good as those who who earn around $25,000 more a year but are not physically active.

However, it should not be inferred that that more activity means more happiness. Excessive exercise can damage your mental health. Study author Adam Chekroud of Yale University said in an interview with Die Welt  – “The relationship between sport duration and mental load is U-shaped.” Physical activity contributes to better mental health only when it is within a permissible limit.

Three to five training sessions each lasting between 30 to 60 minutes per week is ideal for mental health according to this study. It can have adverse effects beyond this limit.

The study also found that  team sports are the best when it comes to positive effects on mental health. Team sports involve socialising and it increases the positive effects on mental health. Cycling and aerobics, though not considered team sports also has significant positive effects on mental health.

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