Sport, Health and Subjective Wellbeing in Cross-National Comparison

Thursday, 14 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Wolfram MANZENREITER, University of Vienna, Dept. of East Asian Studies, Austria
Do regular exercising and a physically active lifestyle contribute to subjective wellbeing? Previous research suggests that regular participation in sport does not only provide immediate pleasure to athletes and everyday sportspersons but also translates into better health and a lasting sense of wellbeing. In this presentation I am challenging the universality of this and similar claims by examining the significance of sport participation to health and happiness in a cross-culturally comparative perspective. My analysis is drawing on data from the International Social Survey Program 2007 (34 countries and almost 50,000 respondents) which featured a particular module with questions on sports and leisure. In a first step I will present the cross-national spread of the impact of sport participation on health and wellbeing, and in a second step I will control for the effect of sociodemographic and socio-economic factors in selected countries. I will also ask the data if a particular form of sport participation affects overall happiness and if that pattern is constant throughout the sample.