To do so, they reviewed more than 20 studies that examined happiness and physical activity. The studies included the health information of thousands of adults, seniors, adolescents, children and cancer survivors from several countries.
After analyzing the results, they found that the odds ratio of being happy was 52 percent higher for those who were very active. It was 29 percent higher for those who were sufficiently active and 20 percent higher for those who were insufficiently active.
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"Our findings suggest the physical activity frequency and volume are essential factors in the relationship between physical activity and happiness," coauthor Weiyun Chen said in a statement. "More importantly, even a small change of physical activity makes a difference in happiness."
They reported that happiness levels were the same whether people worked out 150-300 minutes a week or more than 300 minutes a week. In fact, they said as little as 10 minutes of physical activity weekly made a “significant difference” in a person’s mood.
They noted that they didn’t investigate whether one particular exercise was more effective that the other. However, aerobics, mixed activity classes, stretching and balance movement were all helpful.
“Future research is suggested to explore the mechanism of how physical activity influences happiness,” they wrote, “and to determine the optimal dose and type of physical activity for gaining the benefits of happiness.”
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