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Physical activity and optimism across the adult life-span


Physical activity has previously been shown to have a positive association with mental health. Most of this work has focussed on reducing the risk of poor mental health, such as depression. Much less work has focussed on promoting positive wellbeing. The association between physical activity and mental health may also differ by age; earlier ALSWH study data indicated that the strength of the positive association between leisure time activity and mental health differed among the young, mid and older cohorts. The aim of this prospective study is to assess the association between physical activity and a specific aspect of positive wellbeing – optimism. This study will also assess whether this relationship differs between young, mid-aged and older women (cross-sectionally), and young and mid-aged women longitudinally.