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African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Effects of leisure time physical activity on psycho-emotional factors in Indian men and women

H van der Merwe, CJ Wilders, WF du Plessis, GL Strydom

Abstract


Burnout, a response to chronic emotional stress, could be influenced by parameters such as healthy lifestyle and physical activity, considered to be important factors in maintaining optimal health and wellness. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of leisure time physical activity participation on the levels of burnout, stress, happiness and quality of life among a sample of Indians in the Potchefstroom Indian community. Indian respondents in Potchefstroom were assessed by a self-report questionnaire for physical activity, burnout, stress, happiness and quality of life. The respondents comprised 101 South African Indian men (n=47) and women (n=54), randomly selected from a semi-urbanized Indian community. The level of burnout, happiness and quality of life were determined by using the Pines et al. Burnout-scale (1981) and the Affectometer 2 questionnaire of Kammann and Flett (1983). Stress symptoms were analyzed by using the 25-item stress symptoms questionnaire (Dickman, 1988). The type, intensity, frequency and duration of participation in physical activity were determined by the Physical Activity Index (PAI) as suggested by Sharkey (1997). One- way analysis of variance was computed for the purpose of this test. The Tukey HSD post-hoc test was used to determine which groups differed statistically from each other (p<0.05) (Thomas & Nelson, 1996). Stress symptom scores indicated no statistically significant differences between participants with a low physical activity index versus those with a high physical activity index. Women reported a higher level of stress symptoms with values between 15 and 25 than men with values between 0 and 14. The average levels of burnout were categorized as moderate for both men and women with values of 2.9-3.7. On happiness and quality of life, respondents in the various physical activity groups (men and women) could be categorized in the low category (< 17), suggestive of low levels of psychological well-being, irrespective of the level of physical activity participation.

Keywords: physical activity, stress, happiness, burnout, South African Indians

African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance Vol. 12 (3) 2006: 277-286



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