Relations among exercise patterns, life satisfaction, and PTSD related symptoms
Schindler, Rachael Teichberg
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This study examined the relationship between physical activity, or exercise, life satisfaction, and trauma in a sample of 75 adult individuals who voluntarily participated in the study. The majority of the participants were white, male, heterosexual, and college educated. It was expected that, compared to the others in the sample, those individuals that exercised consistently, and had experienced trauma in their lives, specifically abuse as children, would have greater life satisfaction and fewer negative symptoms stemming from the trauma. Participants completed an online survey questionnaire that consisted of multiple instruments that assessed for degree of life satisfaction, amount and duration of exercise, and occurrence of child abuse or other trauma. In addition, participants provided information regarding past or and/or current drug and alcohol use, as well as various other demographic factors. Results indicated that consistent vigorous exercise is indeed related to greater life satisfaction and to fewer symptoms of PTSD. Discussion focused on the role that exercise may play as a coping mechanism, and as a possible long-term treatment, for trauma related symptoms and other disorders in adults, and children. The importance of assessing causal rather than correlational patterns in future research, as well as the need for future longitudinal studies, was also discussed. Implications for prospective research in this area were discussed.