London: Even moderate levels of activity can have a positive effect on mental well being and boost happiness, a new smartphone-based study has found.
The results, based on reports from more than 10,000 individuals, by researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Essex in the UK, demonstrate how smartphones can be used to collect large-scale data to examine psychological, behavioural and health-related phenomena as they occur in everyday life.
Using data gathered from users of a smartphone mood tracking app, researchers found that modest levels of physical activity – even if it could not be classified as exercise – can increase a person's reported emotional well-being, regardless of their baseline level of happiness.
They also found that people reported being happier when they were physically active.
Earlier studies on the relationship between exercise and happiness, secured mixed results. Some studies have found that happier people report exercising more, while others have found no relationship between happiness and exercise.