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.
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