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The Science of Well-Being$
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Felicia A. Huppert, Nick Baylis, and Barry Keverne

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567523

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567523.001.0001

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Physically active lifestyles and well-being

Physically active lifestyles and well-being

(p.140) (p.141) Chapter 6 Physically active lifestyles and well-being
The Science of Well-Being

Stuart J.H. Biddle

Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the benefits of a physically active lifestyle are linked to positive mental health. Through behavioural epidemiology, evidence that physical activity can contribute to positive well-being and prevent disease is examined, along with the ‘feel-good factor’ or the psychological benefits that people derive from being physically active. The results of recent studies on the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial effects of physical activity are discussed, complemented by an examination of factors affecting a person's inclination towards a physically active or a sedentary lifestyle. The health benefits of habitual and sporadic physical activity are also contrasted. A section provides examples of successful interventions at the individual or societal level. The remainder of the chapter discusses potential future developments and challenges in the study of physical activity and its benefits which may help in the development of more effective interventions to improve the life and health of many people.

Keywords:   physical activity, behavioural epidemiology, well-being, interventions, benefits, feel-good factor

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