Effect Of Regular Physical Exercise On Middle-Aged People’s Physical And Mental Health

PUB HLTH 7078 Qualitative Research Methods In Health

Research Question

Americans are living longer with the average life expectancy now that is surpassing seventy eight years up from less than seventy years in 1980 (Alamri et al. 2014). Nevertheless, the other sector of the world is not at all concerned.  From the scientific viewpoint, it has been seen that insufficient physical activity can outbreak various diseases like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, lower metabolic rate and  several pulmonary diseases. Obesity generally results from the imbalance in the energy. Several factors contribute to the raise of calories in our body. Most important factor that contributes to raise the calorie content is lack of physical activity. In today’s world all, our daily work is almost done by the help of machines. The physical exertion needed for daily nitty gritty is eliminated. Therefore, the regular calorie is not burnt from the body. The regular physical activity is very important to maintain a good physical and mental health of an individual. Several researches show that an insufficient physical activity raises the stress level and makes an individual prone to depression and anxiety. However, many eating disorders are the result less physical activities. Regular physical activities like walking can help to keep balance in the thinking and learning processes. It also reduces the rate of sleep disorders. Regular physical activity for thirty minutes is enough for a healthy mind and body (Anderson & Shivakumar, 2013).

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The main objective of the research is to see how regular physical activities can facilitate positive changes in the mental and physical health of an individual.

Does physical exercise (walking) helps to maintain weight preventing obesity in mid age people? Does the regular exercise can bring positive changes in the mental and physical health of middle-aged people?  

It can be hypothesised that regular exercise and improve the physical and mental health of the middle-aged people.

Exercise is actually a breed of physical health. Physical activities can be defined to be any bodily activities that are done to burn calories. Activities on a daily basis include any professional sport, household work or normal jogging beside the beaches. Exercises mean that the activities will be structured and repetitive in nature. The final output of the study should be burning of the calories in a good amount. Physical fitness is a bundle of several attributes that can be duly measured with the specific tests. These tests portray the health condition of the individuals after having a proper work out regime on a regular basis (Ekkekakis et al. 2014).

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Sleep and physical fitness influences each other through complex, a bilateral interaction that involves several psychological and physiological ways. Regular physical activity is needed for a good generation of sleep. The physical activity helps the person to remain healthy and distant from any disease. On the contrary, sleep disturbances can impair the person’s cognitive performances. This results in the exercise induced risks due to unconsciousness and lack of sleep. The above research reviews the reciprocal physiological effects that links the two activities namely sleep and exercise. Therefore, proper sleep is also needed for the balanced health of an individual (McGorry, Bates & Birchwood, 2013).

In a diary study, it was investigated that how exercises during the leisure time effects the physical and psychological mechanisms. It has been seen that people with regular routine of exercise have more energy and maintains a stress free life. The irregularity in diet plans and no physical activities makes psychologically detachment from work and personal relationships. Aggression is mostly seen in people who are not into any sort of physical activity. Briefly, it can be said that engagement in any type of physical activities are vey important (Zdziarski, Wasser & Vincent, 2015).

The basic outline of the experiment is that the subjects will be informed that there will be a survey on the quality of life and stress levels of the individuals. The experiment will be based on the survey that will be conducted. The questionnaires regarding Quality of life and perceived stress will be given to the participants through internet or manually. They need to fill the questionnaires and give their feedback on the overall process of the experiment.

For the study of the effect of regular exercise on the quality of life and stress level of the middle-aged individuals living in Australia, an appropriate experiment design needs to be formed. For the present experiment, within group design is to be taken . In factorial designs, there are two independent variables and one dependent variable. The Independent variable is physical activity like regular exercise that can include jogging, gyming or any form of work out done for one to two hours daily. The dependent variable in the experiment is the physical and mental health of the middle-aged people. A control group needs to be added where there will no manipulation of the independent variable will be there. The participants taken for the experimental group will be 50 and participants taken for control group will be 50. The gender will be equally divided when the participants will be selected to avoid biases. 

Review of Literature

The experiment is conducted to observe the effect of exercise on the health of the group of people who are currently residing in Australia. The selection of the participants will be done in several conditions. Firstly, the participants will be divided based on their physical exercises regime. Fifty participants will be chosen who is middled-aged. The details of the participants will be obtained by visiting the nearby gyms. Other participants who are into regular running will be obtaining from the nearby localities. It is very important to choose the participants very strategically, because on the responses given by the participant holds the result of the experiment. The age group of the participants will be 36 to 55 years of age. To eliminate any sort of gender biasness both male and females population are taken.  Therefore, twenty-five male and twenty-five female participants will be recruited for the experiment.

Fifty participants will be selected who are not into any form of physical activities or regular walking. These participants will be taken to create a control group based on which the whole experiment stands. The control group always have zero manipulation of the Independent variable. Therefore, the participants will be chose from a small survey done in the nearby locality. The age group of the participants will be 36 years to 55 years. The gender of the participants will be equally divided. Twenty-five women and twenty-five men will be taken. This is done to avoid any sort of gender biasness.

Doctors, nurses, anyone who belongs to the field of medicine will be excluded. The people who belong to any fitness professions like MMA fighters, boxers, weight lifters and actors are also avoided. The other important factor that should be taken into account before choosing the participants is the mood and mental health of the person. The person who seems to have a bad mood on that is strictly avoided by the experimenter.

For the present study, to see the effect of physical exercise on the health of middle aged participants of Australia, two tools are used, namely WHOQOL(World Health Organization Quality of Life Brief) and Perceived Stress Scale. The Quality of life tool measures the physical mental health of the participants and the perceived stress tool will measure the present and past mental stress of the participants. The explanations of the two tools are discussed below.

WHOQOL-26 Brief English version: World health organization (1995) has developed this questionnaire to assess the QOL of an individual. There are 100 items in the original item that are assessed by five domains. The WHOQOL-BREF is a mini version of the original WHO scale. The broad domains are Physical health, psychological health social relationship and environment factors.


Perceived stress scale (Cohen et al 1983) : Perceived stress is an output of  stressful events, and the  tool measures how the individual uses coping processes and personality factors. Group mean scores are used to compare the perceived stress. Precisely, perceived scale identifies the various factors that are by the appraisal of stress. It has fourteen items, out of which seven are positive sentences and seven negative sentences. The seven positive sentences are given reverse scores.

The experiment is conducted based on the analysis of the responses given by the participants. The two tools which will be used for this experiment has two separate questionnaires. The experimenter will circulate two questionnaires among the participants. Firstly, the participants will be informed about the whole study and if they want to volunteer to give responses, they are given the questionnaires either manually or through Google forms. The experimenter will give instructions to read the questions properly and give the reactions properly without much thinking. The forms when completed filled should be given back to the experimenter. It is the duty of the experimenter that while conducting the survey, the participants do not face any problems.

The participants will be approached from nearby localities any gyms. After taking the consent from the participants, the experiment will be conducted. The participants will be given full information about the measures and procedures for giving the responses on the questionnaires. The experimentor will effectively handle the queries raised by the participants. The participants are assured that their confidentialities will be maintained. They were also informed that their responses would only be taken for research purposes. Therefore, after taking the responses from 100 participants the necessary statistical data analysis will be done to get proper results.

After the proper collection of the data from the participants, the data will be statistically analysed.  From the hypothesis, the effect of exercise on the physical and mental health of the people is predicted. The following chart shows the estimated analysis.

Exercise (regular walking or gyming)


Physical and mental health

Condition 1 (control group)

Participants = 50

(participants who do not exercise)

Condition 2 (experimental group)

Participants = 50, control = 50

(participants who do exercise)

Condition 1

Quality of Life

Poor QOL

Good QOL

Condition 2

Perceived Stress Level

High stress level

Low stress level

For conducting, a research requires considering and addressing ethical issues. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical conduct in Human research, there are four overarching principles (Ramsay et al. 2014). Firstly, Research merit and Integrity, secondly, Justice; thirdly, beneficence and lastly respect. Ethical considerations are also a major part of ethical issues. They are namely, harm, informed consent, deception and debriefing. Ethical issues play a key factor for the proper conduction of any research.  For conducting this experiment, firstly all the risk factors are to be eliminated by the experimenter. He must make sure that the identity of the participants remains private. Secondly, the consent of each participant should be taken. Thirdly, if the participants feel any kind of discomfort then they can leave the survey immediately. Lastly, any deception if used in the experiment should be justified to the participants clearly. The participants have the full right to know about the result of the survey (Rissel et al. 2017).

Design of the Experiment

Doctors, nurses, anyone who belongs to the field of medicine, sportsman and actors are excluded. The other important factor that should be taken into account before choosing the participants is the mood and mental health of the person. The person who seems to have a bad mood on that is strictly avoided. This results in segregating the population, and the target population is not clearly found out. One of the major factors that are not focused in the research is the occupation of the participants. People who are into occupation that is related to IT and target oriented jobs do not get the time for regular exercises. The workloads of these sectors are so much that they do not get enough time to maintain a proper routine where they can adjust their regular exercise. However, the target population is based on a region of Australia; therefore, the result cannot be generalized on a global perspective.

The proportion of the older age group in the population of Australia is increasing day by day. The older generation is becoming more and more healthy both physically and mentally. The problem is with the middle-aged population, as the major health diseases are seen in these age groups. Lack of physical exercises leads to many health diseases, like heart diseases. However, the insufficient health activities can also lead to several mental problems. The main objective of any research is to aware the society by publishing or sharing the research reports to the world. The current research deals with the physical and mental health of the people of South Australia. Therefore, by sharing the data analysis with the Health Consumer Alliance of South Australia will help people to aware about the health condition of the country.


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