Physical activity and mental wellbeing in deprived neighbourhoods

Mason, P. and Kearns, A. (2013) Physical activity and mental wellbeing in deprived neighbourhoods. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 6(2), pp. 111-117. (doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2013.06.005)

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Abstract

Background: Although the links between mental wellbeing and physical activity are well established they have been little studied in deprived populations with high levels of ill-health.

Method: Using a novel combination of measures of mental wellbeing (WEMWBS) and physical activity (IPAQ), and taking a multilevel modelling approach, we examine the associations of mental wellbeing with physical activity and a set of sociodemographic, personal and residential characteristics in a cross-sectional sample of 3,854 adults from 30 neighbourhoods in Glasgow, UK.

Results: There was a significantly positive relationship between low, medium and high levels of physical activity and mental wellbeing scores, and evidence that potential mental wellbeing gains may be greater in neighbourhoods with relatively low average mental wellbeing. In addition, better mental wellbeing was independently associated with being male, young (16-24 years), in work, with more than basic educational qualifications, a home-owner, and with living in house rather than a flat.

Conclusions: There are potential benefits to mental wellbeing from boosting physical activity among residents of deprived neighbourhoods, especially those with particularly low general levels of mental wellbeing. Person-based interventions supporting physical activity might be successfully incorporated as part of urban regeneration programmes that already provide many of the social and environmental improvements required to enable increased physical activity and improved mental wellbeing. Coming into employment may boost mental wellbeing not only directly, but also indirectly through increased levels of physical activity.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mason, Dr Philip and Kearns, Professor Ade
Authors: Mason, P., and Kearns, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Mental Health and Physical Activity
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd
ISSN:1755-2966

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