Miguel Peralta1,2, João Santos3, Joana Bordado3, Duarte Henriques-Neto1, João Martins2,4, Pedro Cruz5, Élvio Rúbio Gouveia6,7, Adilson Marques1,2

1University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics, Interdisciplinary Centre for the study of human Performance, Lisboa, Portugal
2University of Lisbon, Environmental Health Institute, Lisboa, Portugal
3University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics, Lisboa, Portugal
4University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics and Research and Intervention in Education and Training, Institute of Education, Pedagogy Lab, Lisboa, Portugal
5University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
6University of Madeira, Department of Sports and Physical Education, Funchal, Portugal
7Interactive Technologies Institute, LARSyS, Funchal, Portugal

Participation in Physical Activity is Associated with Well-being in European University Students

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2021, 10(2), 41-46 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.210906


This study’s objective was to analyse the associations between physical activity (PA) and well-being in a rep- resentative sample of European university students. This cross-sectional study was based on data from the European Social Survey round 6, 2012, comprising 3,143 European university students (1456 men and 1687 women) from 27 countries, with a mean age of 21.3±2.9 years. Socio-demographic data, PA, health perception, and the six dimensions of well-being were self-reported. Men reported practising PA more often than women did (4.4±2.2 versus 4.1 ± 2.2, p<0.001) and had better health perception (4.2±0.7 versus 4.1 ± 0.8, p<0.001) and total well-being score (5.5±1.2 versus 5.2 ± 1.3, p<0.001). PA frequency was linearly associated with health perception (p<0.001) as well as the overall well-being score (p<0.001). There is a positive association between PA and the well-being of European university students. This emphasizes the importance of PA in the university students’ lifestyle and the need to develop programmes that reduce physical inactivity.


exercise, active lifestyle, health, epidemiology, young adults

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