Is it better to have some healthy sport or enough money to spend to do and buy what we like best? The answer may not be obvious. According to a study, what really makes us happy is the physical activity practiced in a moderate but regular way.
Physically active people are less likely to feel unhappy than more sedentary people. The key to happiness is therefore in sport, at least according to the results of research presented by a team from the universities of Yale and Oxford.
The benefits of physical activity on our health have already been demonstrated several times, but in this case the researchers found that practicing sport also has beneficial effects on mood and the degree of happiness (in fact we had already talked about research that had arrived at more or less the same results).
According to a study published in The Lancet, people who regularly exercise only feel a black mood 35 days a year, compared to 53 days for those who are inactive. Money, on the other hand, does not make you happy. To support this thesis, the researchers studied the physical habits and moods of more than a million American citizens.
The participants were asked in particular the question: “How many times have you felt mentally ill in the last 30 days, for example because of stress, depression or emotional problems?”.
The answers were then compared with the level of physical activity and sport performed by each one. It was noted that people who are physically active (not just running, cycling or working in the gym, but also working at home or mowing the lawn) feel better than those who are lazier and earn at least $25,000 a year (net). So even money helps the mood, but it must be a lot! Sport is definitely a means more affordable for everyone to be happy.
However, you should not exaggerate. As Adam Chekroud of Yale University, author of the study, said in an interview:
“The relationship between the duration of the sport and the mental load is U-shaped.
This means that people who train for more than 3 hours experience more mental discomfort than those who practice activities in a more moderate way. Ideally, according to the researchers, sports should be done in three, four or five sessions of 30 to 60 minutes per week.
Better to focus on group activities, such as team sports, whose beneficial effects are greater than those of individuals.