A1 Journal article (refereed)
Relationship Between Accelerometer-Based Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Mental Health in Young Finnish Men (2022)

Appelqvist-Schmidlechner, K., Raitanen, J., Vasankari, T., Kyröläinen, H., Häkkinen, A., Honkanen, T., & Vaara, J. P. (2022). Relationship Between Accelerometer-Based Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Mental Health in Young Finnish Men. Frontiers in Public Health, 10, Article 820852. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.820852

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Appelqvist-Schmidlechner, Kaija; Raitanen, Jani; Vasankari, Tommi; Kyröläinen, Heikki; Häkkinen, Arja; Honkanen, Tuomas; Vaara, Jani P.

Journal or series: Frontiers in Public Health

eISSN: 2296-2565

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 18/02/2022

Volume: 10

Article number: 820852

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.820852

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80505


Healthy lifestyle behaviors including physical activity (PA) have been recognized to contribute positively to mental health. Most of the evidence on relationship between PA and mental health relies on self-reported PA results. Device-based measures on PA or sedentary behavior (SB) are less frequently used in mental health research. The present study aimed at examining the relationship between mental health and PA/SB measured by accelerometers in young Finnish men. The sample consisted of 409 men (mean age 28 ± 7 years), who participated in the military refresher training in Finland. Self-rated mental health was measured with Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5) and short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS) measuring mental health both from the perspective of mental health problems and mental well-being. PA was measured with accelerometer from the perspective of light, moderate, vigorous, and total activity, as well as SB. Linear regression models and compositional analysis were applied. Age, education, marital status, employment status, BMI, alcohol use and smoking were used as covariates. Evidence on relationship between total PA (standardized regression coefficient 0.340; 95% CI 0.022–0.657, p = 0.036) and SB (standardized regression coefficient −0.340; 95% CI −0.657 to −0.022, p = 0.036) with symptoms of mental health problems was found after adjusting for age, education, marital and employment status. The relationship was marginally significant (p = 0.056) after adjusting also for BMI, alcohol use and smoking. No evidence on relationship between PA or SB and mental well-being was found, neither in standard linear regression analysis nor in compositional approach. In our sample of young adult men, PA seemed to have a stronger relationship with symptoms of mental health problems rather than with mental well-being. The findings lead to a conclusion that all PA per se may not be independently associated with mental well-being in young adult males and raise the question whether the domain of PA and its context play a critical role in these relationships.

Keywords: physical activeness; inactivity; mental health; mental well-being; mental health problems; young adults; men

Free keywords: physical activity; mental health; sedentary behavior; mental well-being; men’s health; mental health problems

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:47