Exercise Provides Greater Happiness Than Money

“Money is happiness“, is this really the case?

The physical benefits of exercise have always been apparent as it strengthens your heart, lungs, joints and muscles. However, studies are more commonly beginning to demonstrate that exercise actually brings forth a variety of mental benefits as well, in addition to the physical ones. This was illustrated through a new study conducted by the Universities of Yale and Oxford, which suggests that exercise is perhaps a greater provider of happiness than money.

The Study

Over 1,200,000 Americans were surveyed, where each participant was asked questions regarding their mental health, physical activity as well as their income.

  1. How many times have you felt mentally unwell in the past 30 days, for example, due to stress, depression, or emotional problems?

  2. What is your income?

  3. How often do you exercise?

Money Pic.jpg
Money Pic.jpg

What did the study find?

  • Your mental health is more dependent on a balanced exercise regime, than a steady income.

    Participants who exercised regularly were overall happier on average compared to those who were inactive. This was concluded as active participants were unhappy around 35 days of the year, while those not exercising averaged 15 unhappy days more.

    Furthermore the data indicated a unique relationship with exercise and income, showing that physically active participants were seen to be as happy as inactive participants who were earning $25,000 a year more than them.

  • There was a limit to how much exercise you could do before it began having a negative impact on your mental health.

    When exercising 3 to 5 times a week, with half an hour to an hour sessions each time, it remained to have a positive effect on your mental state. However performing more than this can lead to the opposite effect - participants exercising over 3 hours a day had on average worse mental health than inactive participants.

  • Team sports can have a greater positive impact on your mental health than others.

    Exercising while combining a team spirit resulted in a healthy mental state. for eg. football, basketball, rugby etc

Additional: Even though cycling, aerobic and fitness exercises are not team sports, they had a similar effect on your mental health.

Team Sports Pic.JPG
Cycling Pic.jpg
Boxing Pic.jpg
Carl Richard