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Happier people live more active lives: Using smartphones to link happiness and physical activity

Lathia, N and Sandstrom, GM and Mascolo, C and Rentfrow, PJ (2017) 'Happier people live more active lives: Using smartphones to link happiness and physical activity.' PLoS ONE, 12 (1). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

© Copyright: 2017 Lathia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Physical activity, both exercise and non-exercise, has far-reaching benefits to physical health. Although exercise has also been linked to psychological health (e.g., happiness), little research has examined physical activity more broadly, taking into account non-exercise activity as well as exercise. We examined the relationship between physical activity (measured broadly) and happiness using a smartphone application. This app has collected self-reports of happiness and physical activity from over ten thousand participants, while passively gathering information about physical activity from the accelerometers on users' phones. The findings reveal that individuals who are more physically active are happier. Further, individuals are happier in the moments when they are more physically active. These results emerged when assessing activity subjectively, via self-report, or objectively, via participants' smartphone accelerometers. Overall, this research suggests that not only exercise but also non-exercise physical activity is related to happiness. This research further demonstrates how smartphones can be used to collect large-scale data to examine psychological, behavioral, and health-related phenomena as they naturally occur in everyday life.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 19:57
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 22:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18754

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