New York: We all know that simple physical activities like brisk walking, gardening or weightlifting help in reducing weight. But do you know that these exercises can also make you happy? Well, a new study has revealed that the frequency and volume of physical activities undertaken may actually boost your level of happiness.
Researchers said that the youth engaged in physical activity once a week as compared to those who don't had 1.4 times the odds of being happy if they were normal weight, and 1.5 times the odds if overweight.
Simple physical exercise also increased positive mental health in the same way as it cured negative mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Weiyun Chen, associate professor at the University of Michigan said,"Our findings suggest the physical activity frequency and volume are essential factors in the relationship between physical activity and happiness."
"More importantly, even a small change of physical activity makes a difference in happiness," Chen added.
The meta-analysis of 15 observational studies revealed that, compared to inactive people, the odds ratio of being happy was 20, 29 and 52 per cent higher for people who were insufficiently active, sufficiently active, or very active, respectively.
In children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, physical activity predicted happiness level, and among drug abusers, the number of weekly exercise sessions, regardless of intensity, was slightly associated with happiness.
They also found an association between happiness and physical activities in older adults.
Researchers said, in addition, meeting the weekly target of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity was significantly associated with higher happiness level among ovarian cancer survivors.
The finding was in a paper published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
(With IANS inputs)