ASICS Study Shows Link Between Regular Exercise In Teenage Years & Positive Mental Wellbeing in Adulthood

ASICS announced the results of its second Global State of Mind Study, which reaffirms a positive link between physical exercise and mental wellbeing and uncovers a link between being physically active in teenage years and positive mental wellbeing in adulthood.

The study of over 26,000 respondents across 22 countries found that the more people exercise, the higher their State of Mind scores1. In Singapore, people who are regularly active2 have an average State of Mind score of 72/100, while inactive3 people have a much lower State of Mind score of just 55/100.

The average State of Mind score in Singapore is 69/100, which is 4 points higher than the global average of 65/100, ranking Singapore 5th out of the 22 countries surveyed. Physical activity levels in Singapore are also above average, with 60% of people engaging in regular exercise compared to the global average of 56%.

What’s more, the study uncovered that being physically active in your teenage years directly impacts your mind later in life. Participants who engaged in exercise throughout their adolescence report higher activity levels and State of Mind scores as adults. The findings indicate that remaining active as a teenager is key to establishing good exercise habits that last into adulthood and positively impact adult mental wellbeing.

In fact, the study was able to pinpoint the ages of 15-17 as the most critical years for staying active and when dropping out of exercise significantly affects your mental state for years to come. In Singapore, those who regularly exercised at 15-17 years old have an average State of Mind score of 69/100 in adulthood, whereas those who were not active during those years have a score of 64/100.

In comparison, respondents who dropped out of exercise before the age of 15 display the lowest activity levels and lowest State of Mind scores in adulthood. Globally, 30% are still inactive as adults and they are shown to be 11% less focused, 10% less confident, 10% less calm and 10% less composed compared to those who were able to exercise throughout adolescence.

In fact, every year a teenager remained engaged in regular exercise is associated with improved State of Mind scores in adulthood. Globally, those who stopped exercising before the age of 15 display an average State of Mind score 15% lower than the global average, while a decline in physical activity at 16-17 and before the age of 22 reduced their average scores by 13% and 6% respectively.

Worryingly, the study also uncovered an exercise generation gap, with younger generations being less active, impacting their State of Mind score. In Singapore, the generation gap is slightly smaller, with half (50%) of the Silent Generation (aged 78+) saying they were active daily in their early childhood, compared to 32% of Millennials (aged 28-42) and 36% of Gen Z (aged 18-27), showing a concerning trend of the two youngest generations being less active and dropping out of physical activity earlier than the older generations.

Globally, members of Gen Z have the lowest State of Mind scores with an average of 62/100 compared to the Baby Boomers’ score of 68/100 and the Silent Generation’s 70/100.

It is worrying to see this decline in activity levels from younger respondents at such a critical age, particularly as the study uncovered an association with lower wellbeing in adulthood. Gen Zs across the world are already exhibiting the lowest State of Mind scores (62/100) in comparison to the Silent Generation (70/100), so this could be hugely impactful for future mental wellbeing across the world.”

– Professor Brendon Stubbs, leading researcher in exercise and mental health, King’s College London

Gabriel Yap Chee Wee, Senior Marketing Director of South-East Asia, said: “ASICS was founded on the belief that sport and exercise benefit not only the body, but also the mind. It’s why we’re called ASICS: ‘Anima Sana in Corpore Sano’ or ‘Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. The results of our second global State of Mind Study show how important it is that young people stay active and the impact this can have on their minds for years to come. At ASICS, we’re committed to supporting and inspiring people to move for positive mental wellbeing throughout their lifetime.”

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