Assessing the effect of physical activity and exercise on nurses’ well-being
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Assessing the effect of physical activity and exercise on nurses’ well-being

Frank Owusu-Sekyere Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the current recommendations regarding the volume of physical activity per week

  • To recognise how a nurse’s physical activity levels can affect their performance at work and the credibility of advice they provide to patients

  • To enhance your knowledge of the psychological benefits of physical activity

It is generally accepted that physical activity has many health benefits, such as improved cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and bone health. Despite this, inactivity remains a significant health challenge in the UK and globally, contributing to conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus. Nurses have an important health promotion role in recommending the potential benefits of physical activity to the general public. However, research suggests that many nurses may not be undertaking enough physical activity themselves, despite the active nature of the nursing role. This article investigates the evidence that increased physical activity has the potential to improve the well-being of nurses. The article also examines the effect of physical activity on indicators of well-being, including feeling states such as affect, mood and emotion; depression; and sleep.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11533

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Owusu-Sekyere F (2020) Assessing the effect of physical activity and exercise on nurses’ well-being. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11533

Published online: 26 March 2020

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