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Research LibrarySport & Health

Physical activity and anxiety: a perspective from the World Health Survey

By 18 May 2020No Comments
Stubbs et al.
Published: 2017


This study explores the global prevalence of anxiety and its association with physical activity.


Analyses cross-sectional, community-based data from the world health survey. There are 237,964 participants across 47 countries. Physical activity was categorised as low, moderate or high based on the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The association between PA and anxiety was assessed by multivariable logistic regression.

Key Findings

Low physical activity was associated with increased prevalence of anxiety: those with low PA (vs high) had 1.32 times higher odds of anxiety. Female sex, older age, lower education and wealth, and depression were also associated with lower physical activity.


The study highlights a clear correlation between low physical activity and increased anxiety. This might be of interest to public health practitioners and government bodies in charge of social and public health.