Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Eyal Gringart

Abstract

In response to increasingly sedentary workplaces, many organizations utilise employee well-being programmes that include physical activity. Physical activity is purported to have physiological benefits and improve overall mental well-being and is assumed will benefit the organization through reduced absenteeism rates and enhanced job satisfaction. Whilst research found associations between engagement in exercise and increased levels of well-being, conflicting support exists for reduced absenteeism and little support was found for enhanced job satisfaction. Much research has also failed to consider any mediating effects that stress may have had on the outcome. In addition, there exists little research that compared the effects of general physical activity with structured exercise participation on reports of well-being, which may be of use for wellbeing programme policy. This paper will review the literature regarding exercise and physical activity and the effects on factors of subjective well-being, job satisfaction and stress. Weaknesses as well as strengths in the body of knowledge will be reviewed, it will be suggested that it is timely and important to further investigations in this area. Objectives: Whilst the world health organisation (WHO) asserts that western societies show insufficient levels of physical activity (PA), research has paid little attention to the contribution of non regimented activities to well-being. The current study compared global well-being (GWB), job satisfaction (JS) and perceived stress (PS) between corporate employees who engage in sport and those, less active, whose PA is intertwined in their daily routine. Four predictions were tested. Firstly, the sport group would report significantly higher GWB. Secondly, there would be a significant positive correlation between PA and GWB. Thirdly, there would be a significant negative correlation between PS and PA levels. Fourthly, there would be a significant negative correlation between PS and JS. Design: Cross sectional survey Methods: Participants were 216 corporate employees (n =162 females & n =54 males). They completed sport and leisure indexes of a sport questionnaire. GWB was assessed with the satisfaction with life scale, JS with a job satisfaction scale, and PS using a four item perceived stress scale. Data analysis comprised two MANOVAs and bivariate correlations. Results: The first hypothesis was not supported as the leisure group reported a statistically higher level of GWB. Hypotheses two and three were both supported. Hypothesis four was not supported as a non significant negative correlation was found. Conclusion: The findings suggest that whilst physical activity overall does contribute to enhanced GWB and reduced PS, the activities are optimally rewarding when incorporated into daily routine. JS, however, was significantly higher for the sport group.

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