Relationships Between Health Promoting Activities, Life Satisfaction, and Depressive Symptoms in Unemployed Individuals

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Chatzisarantis, Nikos LD
Kamarova, Sviatlana
Twomey, Chris
Hansen, Graham
Harris, Mark
Windus, John
Bateson, Alan
Hagger, Martin S
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Background: Previous research has documented that unemployed individuals who engage in recreational activities, either alone or with others, experience higher levels of mental health and psychological well-being relative to those who do not engage in recreational activities. Aims: In this study, we examined whether engagement in health promoting activities, alone or with other family members, is associated with reduced levels of depression and enhanced levels of life satisfaction in unemployed individuals. Method: We employed a cross-sectional design in which we measured life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, consumption of healthy meals and engagement in physical activities in 203 unemployed individuals (male = 90, female = 113, age= 33.79, SD = 11.16). Results: Independent of age, gender, and partner employment status, hierarchical regression analyses revealed statistically significant effects for social forms of healthy eating (consumption of healthy meals with others) and solitary forms of physical activity (exercising alone) on depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. Limitations: The research design was cross-sectional using self-report questionnaires. The present study does not to explain why and how health promoting activities enhance well-being outcomes among the unemployed. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of measuring engagement in health promoting activities through separate constructs that capture engagement in social and solitary health promoting activities and suggest that unemployed individuals are likely to experience optimal levels of psychological well-being if they exercise alone and consume healthy meals with other family members.

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European Journal of Health Psychology
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© 2020 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in European Journal of Health Psychology. It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation.
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Public health
Political economy and social change
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Psychology, Clinical
psychological well-being
physical activity
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Chatzisarantis, NLD; Kamarova, S; Twomey, C; Hansen, G; Harris, M; Windus, J; Bateson, A; Hagger, MS, Relationships Between Health Promoting Activities, Life Satisfaction, and Depressive Symptoms in Unemployed Individuals, European Journal of Health Psychology, 2021, 28 (1), pp. 1-12