Health-Enhancing Physical Activity and Well-Being: Is it How Often, How Long, or How Much Effort that Matters? A Test of Basic Psychological Needs Theory
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The primary objectives of the present study were 1) to examine the relationship between health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) and well-being across the previous day and 2) to examine the role of basic psychological need satisfaction as a potential mediator of the HEPA – well-being relationship. Participants (N = 203) were a convenience sample of undergraduate students with data collected cross sectionally. HEPA was generally associated with well-being (r‟s ranged from .18 to .62). Multiple mediation analyses supported psychological need satisfaction as mechanisms underpinning the HEPA – well- being relationship. Subsequent analyses demonstrated that effort put forth in HEPA activities, as opposed to frequency or duration, uniquely predicted well-being. The role of effort was further highlighted in the multiple mediation analyses. As such future research may wish to investigate the utility of a HEPA program that facilitates effortful engagement and fulfillment of basic psychological needs.