Date of Award

Fall 12-12-2017

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Thesis Location

Honors College Thesis

Degree Name



Kinesiology and Pedagogy

Faculty Advisor

Mario Vassallo


This research review looks at the effects exercise and physical activity have on mental health. The results of this review are based upon the results of the formal studies that have been included. These studies are Benefits of Exercise on Physical and Mental Health in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Exercise Effects on Mental Health of Preschool Children, The Effect of Morning Exercise on Mental Health of Female Police Employees, Exercise and Mental Health of People Living with HIV: A Systemic Review, Exercise Improves Physical Function and Mental Health of Brain Cancer Survivors: Two Exploratory Case Studies, Effect of Yogic and Physical Exercise on Physical Health and Mental Health, Exercise Therapy Improves Mental and Physical Health in Schizophrenia: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Depression and Body Image in Children: Is Physical Activity Beneficial and how is this Translated into Clinical Practice? Lifestyle of our Kids Study, and Effect of Tai Chi Exercise on the Physical and Mental Health of the Elder Patients Suffering from Anxiety Disorder. There is information provided on the effects on children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Overall health is important throughout the lifespan. Most people are aware of the positive effects that exercising has on physical health, but are not aware of how it impacts their mental health as well. Things such as exercise addiction and body dysmorphic disorder are not commonly known and need to be discussed. It is also important to know how exercise is correlated to depression, anxiety, stress, etc. There are economic impacts of mental health due to lost wages and health care costs. There is a currently a mental health epidemic in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and people deserve to be informed on something as simple as being physically active can help ease some symptoms.

Key Words: exercise, physical activity, mental health, physical health, body dysmorphic disorder, exercise addiction, stress, anxiety, depression