A new study on exercise and happiness conducted by the University of Cambridge in the U.K. finds that people who do even just small amounts of physical activity, like walking, have positive overall effects on mood.
The researchers used interactive smartphone questionnaires and mood tracking android to test out 10,000 individuals. It was the biggest phone-based survey ever conducted on the relationship between physical activity and mood regardless of the subject's happiness baseline.
Previous studies on the relationship between exercise and happiness found that exercise do have positive outcomes on mood. However, the amount of exercise and the specific feelings of the test subjects were left out.
With the current research, the use of mobile and wearable technology prove to be significantly effective in figuring out exactly how much physical activity people need to increase serotonin, or happy chemicals, in the body.
Moreover, according to the ZME Science, the data show that happy people are more active in general. The paper's senior author Dr Jason Rentfrow, from Cambridge's Department of Psychology explains that the finding is different from many studies in that it clearly shows that "in order to be happier, you don't have to go out and run a marathon".
The results show that even just small amounts of physical activity, even as simple as walking around, can have positive impact on the person's emotional wellbeing.
According to the CTV News, the study indicates the practical application of the findings by promoting people to engage in physical activity, not necessarily proper exercise, in order to feel emotionally better.
As more and more people complain about the inadequate health services they receive for depression and anxiety as reported earlier, the need for mood boosting techniques become more relevant.
Fortunately, all it takes is small amounts of moving around throughout the day to reap the benefits of both exercise and happiness.