Relationships between exercise and three components of mental well-being in corporate employees

Cecilie Thogersen-Ntoumani, KR Fox, Nikolaos Ntoumanis

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41 Citations (Scopus)
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Objectives: The main purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between exercise participation and three components of mental well-being (physical self, work-related, and global) in a sample of corporate employees. As a subsidiary and exploratory question, we also examined whether these well-being components are more strongly related to structured exercise participation scores compared to total levels of physical activity. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Method: The participants were 312 employees from an information technology company (nZ204 males and nZ108 females). Structural equation modelling was used to examine links between exercise participation and the three well-being components within a hierarchical framework, featuring global well-being constructs at the apex and specific elements of well-being at lower levels. Results: Support was found for the a priori model in that there were direct paths from exercise to physical self and enthusiasm at work. Furthermore, there were indirect paths between exercise and global well-being components through measures of the physical self and enthusiasm at work. The results of an alternative model using physical activity as opposed to exercise were generally similar. Conclusion: The support found for the exercise and well-being model indicates that exercise is associated directly and indirectly with high well-being in various facets of employees’ lives. Thus, this study extends previous research that has examined associations between exercise and isolated indicators of employee well-being. Finally, the results pertaining to physical activity suggest that workplace exercise promotion programmes should incorporate and promote lifestyle physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-627
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005


  • work
  • hierarchical
  • physical self
  • mental health
  • physical activity


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