The mediating role of exercise behaviour on satisfaction with life, mental well-being and BMI among university employees

Kashef N. Zayed, Md Dilsad Ahmed, Rudolph Leon Van Niekerk, Walter King Yan Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health is one of our greatest assets, yet literature shows that university employees often neglect their physical health and obesity is becoming a global concern. The aim of the article is to present how a physically active lifestyle could lead to higher levels of mental wellbeing and life satisfaction among university employees. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the life satisfaction, mental well-being, and body mass index (BMI) of employees at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). Methods: A sample of 320 SQU employees (176 males and 144 females) with a mean age of 46.14 ± 9.32 years participated in this study. The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS) were used to measure life satisfaction and mental well-being. Additionally, BMI and exercise behaviour, which was based on weekly participation in a number of intentional sports activities and exercise, were measured. Results: The study revealed that participants who were more physically active, compared to those who were less active, experienced higher levels of mental well-being and were generally more satisfied with their lives. The findings also indicated that participants with a healthy body mass index (BMI=20-25) enjoyed higher levels of life satisfaction than those classified as overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Finally, the study found no significant differences between the gender and age groups. Conclusions: This study concluded that academics who were lean, exercised more and were more satisfied with life. A healthy BMI may play a considerable role in increasing the levels of life satisfaction in adults.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCogent Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • BMI
  • Exercise
  • Life satisfaction
  • Physical activity
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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