Perceived Fitness Predicts Daily Coping Better Than Physical Activity or Aerobic Fitness

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International Stress Management Association


This study sought to evaluate the association between perceived physical fitness, actual fitness measured by VO2max, daily physical activity measured by an ambulatory activity monitor, and coping with daily stress. One hundred and thirty participants completed a series of questionnaires measuring perceived fitness as well as daily stress and coping levels each day for one week. Participants were also provided with a digital physical activity monitor (Yamax Digi-Walker SW 200) and instructed to wear it throughout the seven day assessment period. Upon completion of the week evaluation, participants then were evaluated for actual physical fitness by treadmill testing. Multiple regression and effect size analysis revealed that perceived fitness predicted daily coping better than actual fitness and daily physical activity. Coping was unrelated to age, gender,VO2max, and physical activity. Results suggest that perceived fitness may be a better predictor of coping with daily stress than actual physical fitness or physical activity.