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International Journal of Physiology, Sports and Physical Education

Vol. 6, Issue 1, Part A (2024)

The mental health benefits of sports: A critical review


Dr. Amandeep Singh

The relationship between physical activity and mental health is a well-documented area of study, with substantial evidence supporting the positive effects of physical activity on various aspects of mental well-being across different age groups. Regular physical activity has been associated with reduced levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, while also improving mood, self-esteem, and cognitive function. However, the underlying mechanisms of these associations remain complex and require further exploration. Moreover, it is essential to investigate whether these benefits of physical activity are consistent across diverse socio-economic and cultural contexts. Additionally, understanding the role of different types and characteristics of exercise in promoting mental health is crucial for developing effective interventions. Studies on mental health in students highlight the prevalence of stress and mental disorders, particularly among university students, underscoring the need for targeted interventions to support their well-being. Various psychological hypotheses, including distraction, self-efficacy, and social interaction, offer insights into the mechanisms through which physical activity positively impacts mental health. Furthermore, research suggests that physical exercise not only alleviates symptoms of depression but also enhances social interaction and functional autonomy, thereby improving overall quality of life. Mental health, conceptualized as a comprehensive set of outcomes encompassing self-related constructs, well-being, ill-being, and cognition, plays a critical role in individual and social functioning across the lifespan. Given the significant global burden of mental disorders, understanding and promoting mental health through strategies such as physical activity interventions are essential for improving public health and reducing the societal impact of mental illness. In summary, fostering a better understanding of the bidirectional relationship between physical activity and mental health, along with addressing the complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors, is vital for developing effective interventions and policies to promote mental well-being and prevent mental disorders.

Pages: 05-09  |  171 Views  72 Downloads

International Journal of Physiology, Sports and Physical Education
How to cite this article:
Dr. Amandeep Singh. The mental health benefits of sports: A critical review. Int. J. Physiol. Sports Phys. Educ. 2024;6(1):05-09. DOI: 10.33545/26647710.2024.v6.i1a.58
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