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From The CriticsReviewer: Kathy Silgailis, PhD (William Paterson University)
Description: This book reviews the current research on the effects of physical activity on anxiety and stress, depression, mood and affect, self-esteem, and cognitive functioning as well as the negative psychological consequences of exercise participation. Guidelines for implementing exercise as a mental health promotion strategy are also provided.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide research evidence to support incorporating exercise interventions into mental health services.
Audience: According to the authors, this book is an important resource for students and researchers in sport and exercise science and practitioners concerned with improving mental health.
Features: Chapters in this book cover stress and anxiety, depression, mood and affect, self-esteem, cognitive functioning, and exercise dependence. The chapter on the effects of exercise on self-perceptions and self-esteem is especially well developed. Research findings are summarized in easy to read tables and each chapter concludes with "What we know" and "What we need to know" sections. Specific guidelines for health and exercise practitioners are also provided.
Assessment: This is an important resource for sport and exercise scientists as well as health practitioners for several reasons. First, this book presents one of the most current and extensive reviews of research on the psychological effects of physical activity. Second, because the material in each chapter is organized according to logical headings and research findings are summarized in tables, the information is user friendly. Third, the authors go beyond just stating what is known by proposing what needs to be known related to each psychological effect of physical activity. Lastly, the book provides a valuable integration of theory and practice. An interesting discussion about the difficulties facing health professionals is included in the last chapter.