Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 511–531 | Cite as

How Does Physical Activity Make You Feel Better? The Mediational Role of Perceived Health

  • Fernando Lera-LópezEmail author
  • Andrea Ollo-López
  • José Manuel Sánchez-Santos


Based on a sample of Spanish adults between the ages of 50 and 70 years, the aim of this paper is to establish to what extent physical activity is positively related to individual subjective well-being either directly or indirectly through its link with perceived health. In other words, we attempt to identify the role played by perceived health as a mediator of the relationship between the level of physical activity and individual happiness and life satisfaction. Moreover, a distinction was made between four activity domains of the individual lifetime involving physical activity: job, transportation, housework, and leisure time. The results show that physical activity in general is positively associated with a higher level of happiness and life satisfaction and that these positive relationships are partially mediated by an individual’s perceived health. Furthermore, we reached the conclusion that this association may vary depending on when the individual is engaged in physical activity. In particular, physical activity undertaken during leisure time has a significant relationship with individual happiness and life satisfaction in adults between the ages of 50 and 70.


Physical activity Well-being Happiness Life satisfaction Perceived health Mediating effect Adulthood 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Lera-López
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrea Ollo-López
    • 2
  • José Manuel Sánchez-Santos
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsPublic University of NavarraPamplonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationPublic University of NavarraPamplonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Applied EconomicsUniversity of La CoruñaA CoruñaSpain

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