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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1991 Apr;60(4):555-61.

Staying fit and staying well: physical fitness as a moderator of life stress.

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Department of Psychology (NI-25), University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Previous research suggests that physical fitness moderates the adverse effects of stressful life events. However, a reliance on self-reports of fitness and health may limit the validity of prior investigations. The present research tested the stress-buffering effect of fitness with subjective and objective indicators of exercise, fitness, and physical well-being. For self-reports of health, both self-reports of exercise and objective measures of fitness showed the buffering effect; however, only objective fitness levels buffered stress when visits to a health facility were considered. Additional evidence indicated that this effect was largely independent of measures of psychological distress. Implications for understanding the link between fitness, stress, and health status are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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