• Christina Argyrou School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Stylianos Spinos School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Vasileios Karfis School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Fotini Venetsanou School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece



positive well-being, psychological distress, perceived fatigue


Participating in leisure-time physical activity (PA) is thought to positively associate with mental health. The aim of the present study was to investigate the acute psychological responses of adults who take part in different types of leisure-time PA (gymnastics; Greek traditional dance; tennis). A total of 277 adults, aged 18-65 years (M= 35.9, SD= 12.76 years), taking part in Greek traditional dance (n=89), gymnastics (n=88), or tennis (n=100) volunteered to participate. In order for potential changes in participants’ positive well-being, psychological distress and perceived fatigue to be examined, the Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale (SEES) was administered before and after a session of the aforementioned programmes. The 3 (group [gymnastics vs Greek traditional dance vs tennis]) X 2 (time [pretest vs post-test) analyses of variance that were performed on the SEES subscales (positive well-being; psychological distress; fatigue) revealed practically significant improvements in the positive well-being for all participants (p<.001, η2=.25) and statistically significant interactions (though not of practical importance) between group and time in positive wellbeing (p<.001, η2=.068), psychological distress (p<.05, η2=.02) and fatigue (p<.05, η2=.033), with participants in gymnastics presenting the most optimal results, followed by those of Greek traditional dance. Although further research is needed to fully understand the features of a PA/exercise that lead to the greatest boost in people’s well-being, taking into account the growing prevalence of mental health disorders in our society, encouraging adults to join in a leisure-time PA/exercise programme seems imperative for their (psychological) health benefit.


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