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|Title:||Examining the Association of Physical Activity and Mindfulness with Acute Stress and Mental Health|
|Keywords:||physical activity;mindfulness;mental health;stress reactivity|
|Abstract:||Stress is one of life’s greatest health threats and increases susceptibility to mental illness. Physical activity and mindfulness are lifestyle factors that are protective against mental health concerns. Critically, those with high levels of physical activity also tend to have high levels of trait mindfulness—the tendency to be more mindful in everyday life. However, the relationship between physical activity and mindfulness, and their impact on acute stress and mental health, remains unclear. The current study aimed to explore this association between physical activity and mindfulness, and their relative impact on acute stress reactivity and mental health. Specifically, we examined whether trait mindfulness accounted for unique variance after controlling for physical activity. In a sample of young adult participants (N = 50) we first assessed their physical activity, trait mindfulness, and mental health and then exposed them to the Trier Social Stress Test, during which we recorded using heart rate, blood pressure, salivary cortisol samples, and state anxiety. Hierarchical linear regression revealed a distinct pattern, such that physical activity was more strongly associated with acute stress (heart rate and state anxiety reactivity), whereas trait mindfulness was more strongly associated with mental health even after controlling for physical activity. The results suggest that physical activity and trait mindfulness may work via synergistic mechanisms to enhance wellbeing with physical activity reducing stress reactivity and trait mindfulness improving overall mental health.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Mizzi_Allison_L_finalsubmission2019sept_MScKinesiology.pdf||404.48 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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