Benefits of Physical Activity and Its Associations with Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, and Psychological Distress in University Students from Southern Spain
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AuthorSan Román-Mata, Silvia; Puertas Molero, Pilar; Ubago Jimenez, Jose Luis; González Valero, Gabriel
ResilienceEmotional intelligencePsychological distressStudents
Román-Mata, S., Puertas-Molero, P., Ubago-Jiménez, J. L., & González-Valero, G. (2020). Benefits of physical activity and its associations with resilience, emotional intelligence, and psychological distress in university students from Southern Spain. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(12), 4474. [doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124474]
This is a descriptive and cross-sectional study in a sample of 1095 university students from southern Spain. The aim was to identify the frequency of health-fulfilling physical activity engagement reported by participants. Sufficient physical activity was categorized according to whether participants ‘achieved minimum recommendations’ (≥150 min of moderate physical activity) or ‘did not achieve minimum recommendations’ (≤150 min of moderate physical activity). Participants were further categorized as: inactive (does not engage in physical activity or sport), engaging in physical activity that is not beneficial to health (≤300 min of moderate physical activity per week) and engaging in physical activity that is beneficial to health (≥300 min of moderate physical activity per week). Possible relationships with psychosocial factors and perceived psychological distress were explored. An ad hoc questionnaire was used to record the time in minutes of physical activity engagement per week. The Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale, the Trait Meta-mood Scale, and Kessler Psychological Distress Scale were also administered. Statically significant differences are shown between the three examined groups: physical inactivity and non-beneficial physical activity; physical inactivity and beneficial physical activity, and; non-beneficial physical activity and beneficial physical activity. Positive and direct correlations were seen with respect to resilience and understanding, and emotional regulation, in addition to negative associations with respect to psychological distress. In conclusion, the more individuals engage in beneficial physical activity, the greater their resilience and emotional management, and the lower their rates of psychological distress.