The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health

by Mikayla Lazowski, Deborah Isack, Noa Jurmann, and Rachel Landau

Exercise has been found to decrease scores of depression and anxiety. This study looked at the connection between mental health and physical activity while in a pandemic. Our surveys measured levels of depression, anxiety, and the reason for exercising. We had two groups, one did five minutes of exercise (jumping jacks) prior to completing the survey. The other group did the survey first. As we expected, we found that depression and anxiety increased during the pandemic. However, short-term exercise did not have a statistically significant impact on depression and anxiety scores. Also, we found that extrinsic motivation for exercise was positively associated with depression. From this study, we discussed exercise being long-term and issues in gender theory related to body image.

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