Measuring subjective well-being in exercise interventions. Overview and recommendations.

Stefan Peters, Heiko Ziemainz


There is a growing body of evidence that exercise has a positive influence on subjective well-being under certain circumstances. Actors in health sports should hence be able to investigate their actions regarding the influence on the well-being of the participants. The purpose of this narrative review is to give an overview of existing methods of measurement concerning subjective well-being and to publish recommendations for the practical application. The search was narrowed down to multidimensional questionnaires, measuring mainly the affective component of subjective well-being. Six instruments, (e.g., the Activation Deactivation Adjective Checklist [AD ACL], Profile of Mood States [POMS] and the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist [MAACL-R]) are finally reviewed after an introduction that outlines the categories of well-being and reviews the mechanisms that have been suggested to explain the beneficial effects of exercise. The questionnaires vary sizably concerning their theoretical background, psychometric properties and structure. The suitability for various domains can be verified regarding these differences. The POMS for example can be recommended because of the international comparability, the PANAS because of the time-efficient use and the MAACL-R, because it covers many dimensions of affect.


exercise; health; rehabilitation; well-being; measurement

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