Researchers at the University of Potsdam have launched an exciting study that examines how (positively) sport affects our psyche worldwide. Right now, in times of Corona, more important than ever.

The ancient Romans already knew it. Or at least the Roman poet Juvenal: Mens sana in  corpore sano (“a healthy mind in a healthy body”). Researchers at the University of Potsdam come to this conclusion (and others). They are currently investigating how the corona crisis affects everyday sport. But also how sport influences our psyche in this extreme situation.

The researchers found that out

Director of Studies Prof. Dr. Ralf Brand – with the support of sports scientists from all over the world – was able to establish two interesting correlations. These can be found in the press release from the University of Potsdam .

  • People who used to exercise and / or exercise regularly two to three times a week before the corona pandemic tend to train more than before
  • People who have not previously moved or only moved irregularly are currently moving even less.

Another subsequent finding is:

“Moving is not only good for the body, but also for the soul. We currently measure a more positive sense of wellbeing among those who are physically active than those who do not or do not exercise regularly, ”explains the sports psychologist Brand.

The interrelations between sport / exercise and mental health are currently of great scientific interest due to the global crisis. Brand added: “The currently politically prescribed changes in people’s lives offer a research situation that we could never have created in the laboratory. This is a great opportunity, especially for us in the behavioral sciences. “

Participants are still being sought for Germany

So far around 6300 subjects from 52 countries have participated in the worldwide study. For Germany, further data are required in order to be able to draw state-specific conclusions. If you want to make your contribution to this exciting investigation from the research field of “exercise psychology”, you can do this by means of an approximately ten-minute online survey (available in twelve languages).

For the researchers, the definition of sport does not depend on the intensity. Rather, it is about “activities that people are now deliberately planning to at least move a little or do sports”. This includes a walk in the home office lunch break as well as walking in the evening or barbell training at home. The data collected is then compared with the specified consequences for mental well-being. The aim of the study is to better understand whether and how sport can contribute to people being mentally well. In times of Corona, when nobody can really foresee when the sad spook will finally stop, it is more important than it has been for a long time.