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Is There a Positive Correlation between Physial Activity and Happiness in a Multiethnic Sample of Employed Adults In Hawai‘i?

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Title:Is There a Positive Correlation between Physial Activity and Happiness in a Multiethnic Sample of Employed Adults In Hawai‘i?
Authors:Hale, Frankie B.
Contributors:Albright, Cheryl L. (advisor)
Nursing (department)
Keywords:Nursing
Happiness
Physical Activity
Date Issued:2019
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:On average, Americans experienced 3.5 mentally unhealthy days per month due to negative emotions. Previous studies have delineated how negative emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, and fear harmed the body and increased risks for psychological disorders as well as physical illnesses. Other work has detailed how positive emotions such as happiness not only protected against physical illnesses, and psychopathologies such as depression and anxiety, but went beyond these protective effects and provided tangible benefits across multiple life domains. Thus, investigating the association between happiness and positive health behaviors, such as physical activity, was important to study; however, only a few studies had investigated the association between purposefully engaging in planned physical activity on a regular basis during leisure time and a person’s level of subjective happiness. To test whether working-age adults who self-reported high levels of subjective happiness had higher levels of leisure-time physical activity performed at or above national guidelines for physical activity, the investigator used an online survey assessment approach. Expanding on the Sustainable Happiness Model, this study hypothesized that the strength of the association between regular leisure-time physical activity and happiness would vary by an individual’s age, gender, and race/ethnicity.
Potential participants (n = 435) from a local university were sent recruitment emails using addresses obtained from publicly available online department faculty and staff directories. Faculty and staff were eligible if they did not have an acute or serious health condition that limited physical activity.
A total of 85 faculty and staff completed a survey in which they recalled their happiness and physical activity levels over the past 7 days. (Faculty and staff distribution by age group was 25.6% age 21-40 and 73.3% age 41-70, with age 40-50 as the median age group; and, their distribution by race/ethnic groups was 45.9% White and 54.1% Non-White:32.9% Asian, 17.6% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.4% Native American/Alaska Native, and 1.1% Black.) Happiness was measured with the Subjective Happiness scale (SHS) (mean 5.36 ± 1.1). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to measure physical activity (mean leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous activity/LT-MVPA = 966.59 ± 1161.75 metabolic equivalents [MET] minutes per week). There was a small positive association between LT-MVPA and happiness, but the association was not statistically significant (r = .036). Males showed higher mean levels of LT-MVPA (p =.48.) but lower mean happiness scores (p =.47) compared to females. Mean LT-MVPA and happiness scores were higher in the older-age group (p = .09 and p =.67 respectively). However, White participants had statistically significant more LT-MVPA (p = .02), but lower levels of happiness compared to Non-White participants (p =.10). None of the groups met or exceeded national recommendations for physical activity.
Degree of happiness in working-age adults was not significantly impacted by level of LT-MVPA. Age, gender, and race might act as variants affecting the association between LT-MVPA and happiness, with only gender significantly affecting the association. The clinical implications were discussed, with emphasis placed on whether federal recommendations being adequate to improve happiness.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2019
Pages/Duration:140 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/63227
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Nursing


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