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Exercise makes you happier than money, according to Yale and Oxford research



  • Researchers at Yale and Oxford may have proven exercise is more important to your mental health than your economic status.
  • The scientists found that, while those who exercised regularly tended to feel bad for around 35 days a year, non-active participants felt bad for 18 days more on average.
  • The team also noticed that certain sports that involve socializing can have more of a positive effect on your mental health than others.
It's clear exercise has health benefits both physical and mental — but what if we could actually prove it was more important to your mental health than your economic status?
According to a study carried out by researchers at Yale and Oxford, we may have done just that.
In the study, published in The Lancet, scientists collected data about the physical behavior and mental mood of over 1.2 million Americans.
 Participants could choose from 75 types of physical activity — from lawn-mowing, childcare, and housework to weight lifting, cycling, and running.
Participants could choose from 75 types of physical activity — from lawn-mowing, childcare, and housework to weight lifting, cycling, and running.
Image: Facebook/Performance Bicycle
Participants were asked to answer the following question: "How many times have you felt mentally unwell in the past 30 days, for example, due to stress, depression, or emotional problems?"
The participants were also asked about their income and physical activities. They were able to choose from 75 types of physical activity — from lawn-mowing, childcare, and housework to weight lifting, cycling, and running.
Those who keep more active tend to be happier overall
The scientists found that, while those who exercised regularly tended to feel bad for around 35 days a year, non-active participants felt bad for 18 days more on average.
Image: The Lancet
In addition, the researchers found that physically active people feel just as good as those who don't do sports, but who earn around $25,000 more a year.
Essentially, you'd have to earn quite a lot more for your earnings to give you the same happiness-boosting effect sport has.
That doesn't mean, however, that the more sport you do, the happier you are.

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