Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Psychosocial Benefits and Aspects of Physical Activity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1617-2


Numerous aspects of psychological well-being related to physical activity (PA) have been examined using epidemiological, cross-sectional, and experimental research strategies, including depression, anxiety, mood/affect, stress, self-perception, cognitive performance, and quality of life. These aspects have been considered in terms of acute bouts and chronic exercise/PA and potential underlying mechanisms. Moreover, personality correlates of PA as well as excessive engagement in exercise have been examined.


The beneficial effects of PA for enhanced physical health and reduced risk of premature mortality are well known; however, notable psychological benefits have also been documented in the literature (Reiner et al. 2013). Although exercise has been used for treating a variety of mental disorders, currently there is limited high-quality research to support it as a stand-alone intervention rather than an adjunctive treatment to pharmacotherapy or psychological...

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References and Further Readings

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Minnesota DuluthDuluthUSA
  2. 2.University of Minnesota DuluthDuluthUSA