Student Research Projects

Exercise and Mood

Student Sky Washington
Heather Sookram
Kylie Mears
Faculty Mentor(s)
Course Intro to Social Research


Research has supported the notion that people may be able to improve their everyday physical condition easily by just implementing exercise into their lives. More specifically, exercise could be a simple and low cost way to improve an individual’s energy level, feelings of calmness, and help a person maintain an overall positive disposition on top of the greatly documented physical health benefits. This study examines the relationship between exercise and a person’s mood. The study used a non-probability convenience sample to obtain a diverse range of individuals in the Virginia Wesleyan College community. Anonymous questionnaires were distributed to 49 VWC affiliates throughout campus and participants were asked a series of questions via questionnaire pertaining to their exercise habits and mood. The study revealed that most of those surveyed participated in physical exercise; over double the amount found in the country. Most of those sampled were also found to have a positive mood on a regular basis. This could possibly be due to the fact that the participants exercised. Also discovered, was the high percentage of those studied that participated in multiple types of exercise. Logistic regression was ran as a multivariate analysis and indicated that people who reported being tired prior to exercise had decreased odds for being calm after exercise. There were also increased odds for a person to be energetic throughout the day if they were also positive throughout the day. These results complement current research which suggests that exercise can produce desirable moods. Participants were also asked whether they would be interested in expanding the exercise programs offered on campus, and over half of those surveyed reported that they would be. The findings suggest that, when compared to the average American, the VWC community is above average in exercise participation and overall seems to benefit from it in mood.