A1 Journal article (refereed)
Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations between Leisure Time Physical Activity, Mental Well-Being and Subjective Health in Middle Adulthood (2020)

Kekäläinen, T., Freund, A. M., Sipilä, S., & Kokko, K. (2020). Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations between Leisure Time Physical Activity, Mental Well-Being and Subjective Health in Middle Adulthood. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 15(4), 1099-1116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09721-4

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kekäläinen, Tiia; Freund, Alexandra M.; Sipilä, Sarianna; Kokko, Katja

Journal or series: Applied Research in Quality of Life

ISSN: 1871-2584

eISSN: 1871-2576

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 15

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 1099-1116

Publisher: Springer Netherlands

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09721-4

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71628


Previous studies have shown that participation in leisure time physical activity is related to better mental well-being and subjective health. However, the associations between different types of leisure time physical activities and different dimensions of mental well-being have rarely been studied. In addition, longitudinal research, analyzing possible causal relations between these variables, is lacking. To investigate these research questions, data gathered at ages 42 and 50 (present N = 303) for the Finnish Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development were used. Physical activity was assessed as frequency of participation at ages 42 and 50, and at age 50 also as frequency of participation in different types of physical activities. Mental well-being was captured by emotional, psychological and social well-being and subjective health by self-rated health and symptoms. Cross-sectionally, different types of physical activities were related to different dimensions of well-being. Walking had positive associations with psychological and social well-being, rambling in nature with emotional and social well-being, and endurance training with subjective health. Rambling in nature was also positively related to subjective health but only among men. Longitudinally, mental well-being predicted later participation in leisure-time physical activity, whereas no longitudinal associations between subjective health and physical activity were found. The results suggest that leisure time physical activities are related to current mental well-being and subjective health in midlife. Across time, good mental well-being seems to be a resource promoting engagement in physical activity.

Keywords: physical activeness; exercise (people); well-being; mental well-being; experienced well-being; self-rated health; middle age; well-being

Free keywords: physical activity; exercise; midlife

Contributing organizations

Other organizations:

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:26