Handbook of Health Psychology

By Andrew Baum; Tracey A. Revenson et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Effects of Physical Activity on Physical and Psychological Health
Wayne T. Phillips Arizona Stute University
Michaela Kiernan
Abby C. King Stunford University School of Medicine

Orandum est sit ut mens sana in corpore sano (Our prayer is for a healthy mind in a healthy body)

-Juvenal(60–130 AD)

The concept of a body-mind connection has survived since its origination with the early Greek philosophers. Although few people even today would disagree with the sentiments expressed in the aforementioned quotation, it is apparent that both physical and mental health in the United States are at suboptimal levels as physical effort becomes less and less a necessary requisite for everyday living. Today the majority of the U.S. population is essentially sedentary, reporting little or no exercise of even low to moderate intensity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1991). The links between such inactivity and the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), as well as other chronic disease states, have been well established with both epidemiological and clinical studies (Bouchard, Shephard, & Stephens, 1994; Bouchard, Shephard, Stephens, Sutton, & McPherson, 1990). Impaired psychological health is also a pandemic problem in the United States, with an estimated 8 to 20 million people (3%–8% of the population) suffering from an affective or depressive disorder (D. R. Brown, 1990; Hatfield & Landers, 1987). As many as 25% of the U.S. population suffer from mild to moderate depression, anxiety and/or other indicators of emotional disorders (President's Commission on Mental Health, 1978). These figures have been represented as “the tip of the iceberg, because the majority of individuals with such conditions rarely seek treatment (D. R. Brown, 1990, p. 607). Additionally, more than 40% of the adult population are reported as experiencing adverse health effects from stress (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1991).

The financial and social costs of such levels of physical and psychological ill health are now beginning to be addressed (Shephard, 1990) and are considerable, albeit complex and extremely difficult to quantify. Although no costs specifically attributed to physical inactivity have been published, Klarman (1964) estimated that the direct costs to the U.S. economy from all forms of cardiovascular disease in 1962 was $3.1 billion, with a further sum of from $3 to $5 billion estimated for secondary costs such as loss of production, pain, and family distress. Considering that physical inactivity has been shown to be an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (National Institutes of Health, 1995), and no more than 25% of the population meets the current physical activity-cardiovascular health recommendations (Haskell, 1995), a substantial portion


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook of Health Psychology
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 962

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?