Researchers at the ivy league universities of Oxford and Yale have discovered that exercise is more important to your mental health than economic status.
The study, which was published in The Lancet psychiatry journal in 2018, collected and analysed data from 1.2 million people aged 18 years or older from across the United States of America from the 2011, 2013, and 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey. The scientists then compared the number of days of self-reported ‘bad’ mental health between individuals who exercised and those who did not. The study also looked at the income of those people.
What the study found is that people who stay active tend to be happier, and felt bad around 35 days a year, while people who did very little-to-no physical activity felt bad for around 53 days per year. Furthermore, the study also found that regular exercisers feel just as good as people who don’t exercise – but who earn $25K more a year - than the exerciser. Basically, the study found that exercising means you’ll have better mental health than those who don’t, even if they have a lot of money.
The study also found the optimum amount of exercise for peak mental health: three to five sessions per week that last between 30 and 60 minutes.
So, although money might make the world go round, it certainly won’t magically make you happier. Only exercise can do that.
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