Thriving in turbulent times- can physical activity help us cope?. Nanette Mutrie Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Director of the Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (www.sparcoll.org.uk ).
Thriving in turbulent times- can physical activity help us cope?
Professor of Exercise and Sport Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Director of the Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (www.sparcoll.org.uk)
The feel good effect
People report that being active makes them ‘feel good’
People who are regularly active ‘feel worse’ when they are not active
Large scale surveys and experimental studies show that activity is positively linked to psychological well being
Self esteem is higher among active children than non active children
Cognitive function improves for older adults who begin to exercise
People who remain regularly active have less risk of age related cognitive decline
Biddle, S. J. H., & Mutrie, N. (2008). Psychology of physical activity: determinants, well-being, and interventions (2nd edition ed.). London: Routledge.
Walking for Well-being in the West
Ogilvie, D., Foster, C. E., Rothnie, H., Cavill, N., Hamilton, V., Fitzsimons, C. F., & Mutrie, N., on behalf of Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration,. (2007). Interventions to promote walking: systematic review. BMJ, 334, 1204-1207.
12-week Results step-counts
12-week Results health related outcomes
Well-beingover 12 months
Score (out of 100)
Mutrie & Faulkner, 2004 in Linley and Joseph (Eds) Positive psychology in practice. Wiley:NJ
Quotes from focus groups:Emslie, C., Whyte, F., Campbell, A., Mutrie, N., Lee, L., Ritchie, D., Kearney, N. (2007). “I wouldn’t have been interested in just sitting round a table talking about cancer”; exploring the experiences of women with breast cancer in a group exercise trial Health Education Research, 2007 available on line.
You felt better after it.. lifted. I just felt generally that my health had improved in that hour. Aye, I think I was on a high possibly! (Respondent 3, group 3, intervention arm)
I might have had to crawl down (to the class) but when I came out after it was over I felt totally different. I had so much more energy. (Respondent 1, group 6, intervention arm)
Psychosomatic rationales suggest that the mind can influence the body
Somatopsychic suggests the other way round- the body influences how we think and feel
So there may be a somatopsychic rationale for psychological benefit from being physically active
Mens sana in corpore sano
William James (1899) ‘our muscular vigor will…always be needed to furnish the background of sanity,and cheerfulness to life, to give moral elasticity to our dispositions, to round off the wiry edge of our fretfulness, and make us good-humoured
Neuroscience: being physically active increases neurotransmission, releases mood enhancing substances (endorphins, serotonin), changes the pattern of brain activity
Eight million years
“One of my greatest achievements was completing the Walk Leader training last year”
John, Walkaboutabit, Islay
“Its not only the physical health reasons that make walking so good for everyone but also the benefits to your inner self by sharing our beautiful countryside with other like-minded people”
Danny, Renfrewshire walks, Renfrewshire
“Walking keeps you young and allows you to do other things. It’s pure, dead, brilliant”
Chris, Next Steps, Blairgowrie