ASICS Study Links Childhood Activity to Adult Well-being

Gen Z’s poor mental health may stem from physical deficit.

What’s happening: ASICS’ latest State of Mind Study linked regular exercise in childhood to positive mental well-being in adulthood, including confidence, positivity and contentment.

Digging deeper, data from 22 countries revealed Gen Z has been the least active through their youth, resulting in the poorest adult well-being levels of all generations.

  • 57% of today’s Silent Generation (age 78+) were active daily as kids vs. 19% of Gen Z, leading to scores of 70/100 and 62/100 for well-being, respectively.
  • Gen Zers who quit exercising before age 15 record well-being 15% below the average.
  • Scores for active women under 40 were 23% higher than inactive Gen Z women.

Mind on movement. Across all ages, the correlation holds: Respondents meeting weekly exercise recommendations (150 minutes) scored 67 for well-being, while those <30 minutes decreased to a 54.

But with Gen Z disproportionately seeking mental health help, lead researcher Brendon Stubbs of King’s College London says each year of continued activity has an outsized effect, especially for such a critical age.

Small steps to take, the ASICS study concluded that it only takes 15 minutes and nine seconds to begin feeling the mental benefits of exercise.

Takeaway: WHO reports  ~80% of teenagers as inactive, and ASICS’ study spotlights its legacy in adult life. While all generations are failing with physical activity, closing equality, inclusivity and diversity gaps around sport and exercise for young people will be crucial.

Global health and fitness news, straight to your inbox.

Join a community of 20K+ industry operators and investors.

    No thanks.