CUP Undergraduate Research


The Relationship Between Physical Fitness and Psychological Well-being

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Reed Mueller, Ph.D.


The present study contributes to the field of health psychology by measuring the changes in physical health (via body fat percentage, body mass index, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and VO2max) and psychological well-being (via a construct synthesized from elements of Seligman, Ryan & Deci, and Ryff’s research). The tested sample consisted of 12 students (4 males, 8 females) enrolled in a class with the goal of weight loss and/or increased fitness. The participants were first tested in September 2013 and again in December 2013, at the end of the term. It was hypothesized that there would be a direct relationship between physical fitness and well-being. There were no significant relationships (p > .05) found except between internal autonomy and physical fitness (p = .033). These relationships contribute to the current literature and suggest the need for further research on the relationship between physical fitness and well- being.

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