chapter  6
27 Pages

Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Young People

WithStuart J. H. Biddle, Ineke Vergeer

The case for mental health benefits across the lifespan is strong. However, earliest research field is also complex, and there is uncertainty regarding some issues. This chapter focuses on the links between involvement in physical activity and various mental health outcomes in young people. Given the diversity of psychological and mental health states and conditions that can be experienced, the chapter will focus on the key themes of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Self-esteem, for example, is considered a key indicator of mental health, including emotional stability and subjective well-being, and is often a strong focus for educational programs for young people. The wider concept of HRQoL includes psychological as well physical and functional health components. Depression and anxiety states and disorders are common, including day-to-day mood changes that may affect functioning. Self-esteem is a term used in daily life, including in general conversations by parents, teachers, and managers at work.