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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

How Individuals’ Characteristics Influence Their Wellbeing through Physical Activity and Sport: Motivated by the Signaling Theory

by Gang Xiao 1, Qing Yi 2,3,4,* and Jinyi Zhou 5,*
1
School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
School of Physical Education and Sport Training, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
3
Shanghai Key Lab of Human Performance, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
4
Key Laboratory of Diagnosis & Analysis of Skills & Tactics in Sports, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
5
Department of Business Administration, Donlinks School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2020, 12(5), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12050854
Received: 27 April 2020 / Revised: 16 May 2020 / Accepted: 21 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
Sports activities engagement is a sustainable lifestyle that can signal that individuals have the potential to become successful. The lifetime wellbeing that comes from participating in sports activities results in a general and global policy agenda encouraging populations to be part of it. However, prior studies have seldom tested how individuals’ characteristics influence their wellbeing through sports activities engagement from a lifetime perspective. In the current study, based on the conservation of resources and signaling theories, we suggest that with a high level of personal control and self-esteem, individuals will proactively maintain a good lifestyle by engaging in more sports activities. Moreover, this engagement is not only good for these individuals’ physical and mental health, but will also bring them much more life satisfaction than others. A large and representative sample with 12,686 participants collected from over 35-year surveys across different social classes in the United States is used to test our hypotheses. The results indicate that individuals’ characteristics will indeed influence their wellbeing, even after 40 years of age, by changing their sports activities engagement, which includes both light activities such as walking and vigorous activities such as running and swimming. Potential theoretical contributions and policy implications are also proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: sport; wellbeing; health; individuals’ characteristics; signaling theory sport; wellbeing; health; individuals’ characteristics; signaling theory
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Xiao, G.; Yi, Q.; Zhou, J. How Individuals’ Characteristics Influence Their Wellbeing through Physical Activity and Sport: Motivated by the Signaling Theory. Symmetry 2020, 12, 854.

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