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There is converging evidence that physical activity influences affective states. It has been found that aerobic exercise programs can significantly diminish negative affect. Moreover, among healthy individuals, moderate levels of physical activity seem to increase energetic arousal and positive affect. However, the predictive utility of affective states for bodily movement has rarely been investigated. In this study, we examined whether momentarily assessed affect is associated with bodily movement in everyday life. Using a previously published data set (Schwerdtfeger, Eberhardt, & Chmitorz, 2008), we reanalyzed 12-hr ecological momentary assessment (EMA) data from 124 healthy volunteers. Electronic momentary positive-activated affect (EMA-PAA) and negative affect (EMA-NA) were assessed via handheld computers, and bodily movement was recorded via accelerosensors. Generalized linear mixed models were calculated. Results indicated that EMA-PAA increases were accompanied by bodily movement increases of varying intensity. EMA-NA was also positively associated with increases in certain kinds of bodily movement. In light of previous research, this finding suggests that affect and bodily movement may have circular effects on each other.
Andreas Schwerdtfeger is with the Department of Psychology, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany. Ragna Eberhardt is with Helios Clinic Leezen, Leezen, Germany. Andrea Chmitorz is with the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, University of Cardiff, Cardiff, U.K. Eva Schaller is with Humaine Rehabilitation Clinic Zihlschlacht, Zihlschlacht, Switzerland.