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The clear link between being active and mental wellbeing

New Active Lives data adds to growing evidence that being active benefits people’s mental wellbeing

14th December 2017

People who are regularly active enjoy better mental wellbeing, our Active Lives data shows.

Our latest research reveals that active people are happier and more satisfied with their lives – and are less likely to experience anxiety.

The report, which builds on Active Lives Adult Survey data published in October, also shows that people who do physical activity are likely to feel more able to achieve their goals, and have more trust in their local community.

It can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

In this latest release, we focus on three outcomes at the heart of our strategy:

  • Mental wellbeing – life satisfaction, happiness, feeling worthwhile and anxiety
  • Individual development – achieving goals
  • Social and community development – how a person feels about their local community

It's the first time we've been able to examine how physical activity impacts on each of these outcomes. There's also fresh insight on how volunteering benefits mental health.


In February, a technical software issue was identified which does not change the messages in this report. The latest figures on mental wellbeing, individual and community development are in our March 2018 report. Click below to see the report.

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