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Prospective associations of different contexts of physical activity with psychological distress and well-being among middle-aged adults: An analysis of the 1970 British Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

André O Werneck, Brendon Stubbs, Aaron Kandola, Mark Hamer, Danilo R Silva

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of psychiatric research
Volume140
Early online date23 May 2021
DOIs
Accepted/In press18 May 2021
E-pub ahead of print23 May 2021
PublishedAug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. André O. Werneck is supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) with a PhD scholarship (FAPESP process: 2019/24124-7 ). This paper presents independent research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the acknowledged institutions. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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Abstract

Background: Our aim was to investigate whether different types and social contexts of physical activity (PA) participation are prospectively associated with psychological distress and well-being among middle-aged adults. Methods: Data from the 1970 British Cohort Study was used (N = 5144–2733 women). At age 42y, participants reported their type of leisure-time PA, which was classified as individual PA or group PA (exposure). At age 46y, participants reported co-primary outcomes: psychological distress (Malaise Inventory) and well-being (Warwick-Edinburgh scale). Highest academic achievement, employment status, country of interview, baseline values of psychological distress and well-being, smoking, alcohol use, TV-viewing and total physical activity at 42y were used as covariates. Main analyses included linear regression stratifying by sex. Results: Jogging, cross-country, road-running (both sexes) as well as team sports (men) were associated with higher well-being. Health, fitness, gym or conditioning activities and jogging, cross-country (women), road-running (women) and team sports (men) were associated with lower psychological distress. Participation in both individual and group PA were associated with lower psychological distress and higher well-being for both sexes in crude models. However, adjusted models revealed that only group PA was associated with lower psychological distress (B: −0.106; 95%CI: −0.188 to −0.025) and higher well-being (0.835; 0.050 to 1.619) among men but not women. In the sensitivity analysis, group PA was associated with higher well-being (0.855; 0.094 to 1.616) when compared with individual PA among men. Group PA was not associated with psychological distress among both sexes and well-being among women when compared with individual PA. Conclusion: Group PA was prospectively associated with lower psychological distress and higher well-being among men but not females. Future PA interventions could focus on group activities for males. Further research to understand the relationship between individual/group PA and mental health is required in females.

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