What we've found
These insights are based on correlations which are statistical links between two sets of data. While we focus only on more plausible and interesting links, they should not be seen to imply cause or effect.
How does exercise influence our wellbeing?
We know keeping active is good for us and can help us feel good in many ways, but we wanted to know how exercise might be influencing different wellbeing measures such as anxiety and life satisfaction.
The graph above shows that as the amount of moderate-intensity exercise performed per week increases, anxiety levels go down and life satisfaction goes up. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, riding a bike on level ground, pushing a lawn mower or water aerobics, to name just a few. However, we also wanted to see whether combining different types of exercise together can benefit wellbeing, such as flexibility exercise (that’s stuff like Yoga, Pilates and Thai Chi).†
How does flexibility exercise relate to happiness?
The graph above shows that when users in our community combine moderate/vigorous intensity exercise or muscle strength training with a flexibility exercise, they are more likely to report a higher happiness score. Therefore, combining flexibility exercise with other workouts is strongly associated with feeling happier. We cannot say that one causes the other.‡
How do different exercise types relate to physical factors?
Now we’ve looked at how some exercises are associated with mental wellbeing, let’s explore how they relate to physical factors such as energy levels and BMI.§
It appears that if you want to boost your energy levels, the strongest link is with moderate-intensity exercise.
This chart shows that any form of exercise seems to have a similar, positive association with a healthy BMI.
To test your fitness levels and find more practical exercise tips, why not take a look at our Exercise to Energise article?