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Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is an important means of enhancing well-being. Although previous research has typically documented the cross-sectional associations between LTPA and well-being, the longitudinal bidirectional association remains relatively unexplored. Using a latent growth curve model, this study examined the longitudinal association between the intensity of LTPA, psychological well-being, and social well-being. The results revealed that the longitudinal associations differed, depending on the intensity of the LTPA and the type of well-being. Specifically, the longitudinal associations of moderate LTPA with psychological and social well-being were bidirectional. However, psychological and social well-being at baseline directly influenced the growth of vigorous LTPA, but not conversely (i.e. vigorous LTPA at baseline → change in psychological and social well-being), indicating no bidirectional association. These findings could contribute to a better understanding of ways in which different intensities of LTPA are associated with distinct types of well-being over a long time.
Kim, C., Kim, J., & Thapa, B. (2020). Bidirectional association between leisure time physical activity and well-being: Longitudinal evidence. Journal of Leisure Research, 51(5), 559–580. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222216.2020.1807428