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Positive Health in Students: Are Character Strengths Related to an Active Lifestyle?

Sommer, Annalena (2020) Positive Health in Students: Are Character Strengths Related to an Active Lifestyle?

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Abstract:Background: Recent findings in positive psychology underline the value of character strengths for human flourishing by fostering experiences of positive emotions, life satisfaction, personal and professional achievements, and more. The proposal for the concept of positive health shifts the research among strengths into the field of physical activity. It is already known that physical activity has beneficial outcomes for psychological- and physical well-being, yet, its association with character strengths shows a deficiency in scientific validation. Therefore, this research aims to explore the relationship between the embodiment of character strengths, and virtues in students, and their respective levels of day-to-day physical activity. Methods: 139 university students with mainly German origin participated in this study. Two questionnaires were administered in a cross-sectional survey design to measure the character strengths (VIA-72) and physical activity levels (IPAQ). Correlation analyses in SPSS were applied accordingly. Lastly, PROCESS macro was used to assess the moderation effect of gender on the relationship between character strengths and physical activity. Results: Students with a stronger embodiment of character strengths showed slightly more physical activity [r(139)=.15, p=.04]. In particular, the strengths leadership, self-regulation, and zest were associated with high levels of physical activity, and the physical activity sub-categories domestic- and garden and leisure-time physical activity were related to character strengths. There was no effect of gender on the proposed relationship [b= −6980.69, 95% C.I. (−16922.34, 2960.97), p<.1]. Overall, no negative relationship was found. Conclusion: The present study gives evidence for a positive relationship between character strengths and physical activity. The results further contribute to a new approach in studying character strengths and physical activity, by taking day-to-day physical activites into account. Future research may wish to investigate the causality for the proposed association to support the use of character strengths in enhancing physical activity, and thus well-being.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81692
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