Article

Exercise Psychology: Understanding the Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity and the Public Health Challenges of Inactivity

Edmund O. Acevedo

in The Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394313
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195394313.013.0001

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Exercise Psychology: Understanding the Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity and the Public Health Challenges of Inactivity

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Regular physical activity is important for optimal physical and mental health. Furthermore, physical inactivity has been identified as a leading cause of death (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Barnes, 2007) have reported that fewer than 50% of Americans participate in regular physical activity. This information highlights the public health challenge of increasing participation in physical activity to enhance physical health and to buoy the psychological benefits associated with physical activity.This chapter presents a brief synopsis of the evidence that compels the study of exercise psychology. In addition, as a basis for assimilating the content of subsequent chapters, this chapter includes explanations for terms often used in exercise psychology, important methodological and conceptual clarifications, and a preface to the topics addressed throughout this text.

Keywords: exercise; mental health; physical activity; motivation; physical activity assessment

Article.  3585 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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