This symposium focuses on the relationships between physical activity and diverse aspects of psychological well-being. It also includes international perspectives on diverse populations and explores application of current theory in intervention programs designed to encourage more individuals to be physically active. A sedentary lifestyle is a major health hazard and is associated with coronary heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes (American College of Sports Medicine, 2006). In addition, individuals who are physically inactive do not have opportunities to reap or enjoy the somatopsychic benefits associated with physical activity such as feelings of global self-worth, a variety of self-concept dimensions such as physical appearance and social acceptance, mood alteration, enjoyment derived from using the body, decreases in social physique anxiety, and increases in life satisfaction. Insufficient physical activity detracts from subjective well-being and reflects a basic exercise dilemma: so many benefits, so few participants (Berger, 2004; Berger & Tobar, 2007)
Presenters will examine key psychological factors related to physical activity and/or its lack, and multiple aspects of psychological well-being in diverse populations throughout the world. These include adolescents at an orphanage in Mexico, young children in Australia in the public schools, adolescent African-American girls, and minority male and female youth from low-income backgrounds in the United States. Several of these populations tend to have low physical activity participation rates and are underserved in regard to exercise intervention programs.
Berger, B., Hands, B., Hanrahan, S., Howard, B., Larkin, D., McCracken, M. et al. (2007). Symposium: Advances in physical activity and psychological well-being: international perspectives. Paper presented at the 5th Asian South Pacific Association of Sport Psychology International Congress. Bangkok, Thailand, 1-4 December.