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Study Links Adolescents' Mental Health With Physical Exercise

Posted: September 28, 2012

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Adolescents who participated in organized sports, on the other hand, were at lower risk for mental health problems. Confirming both the self-image hypothesis and the social interaction hypothesis, adolescents’ body weight perception (such as “too heavy,” “good,” or “too thin”) and sports club membership each partially accounted for the relationship between physical activity and mental health, even after taking adolescents’ backgrounds into account.

These results suggest that certain psychosocial factors—body image and social interaction—may help explain at least part of the connection between physical activity and mental health.