Its obvious exercise has health benefits both physical and mental. But what if we could demonstrate that exercise is more important to your mental well-being than your financial situation?
According to a study from researchers at Yale and Oxford, they may have done just that. In the study, published in The Lancet, scientists collected data about the physical activity and mental disposition of over 1.2 million Americans. Participants were asked to answer the question: "How many times have you felt mentally unwell in the past 30 days, for example, due to stress, depression, or emotional problems?" The participants were then asked questions about their income and level of physical activity. They were able to choose from 75 different types of physical activity — from household chores to high intensity training.
The researchers found that people who stay active are generally happier. The scientists discovered that while those who exercised consistently tended to feel bad for 35 days a year, while participants who barely exercised felt bad for 18 days more, on average.
Furthermore, the researchers discovered that physically active participants feel just as good as those who don't do sports but who earn about $25,000 more a year.
Basically, you would have to make a lot more money to get you the same happiness-boosting effect that exercise has.