It is very clear that college can be a very stressful time. These high levels of stress can lead to negative coping mechanisms. However, there is a positive coping mechanism: exercise. The purpose of this study is to examine mental health related benefits of exercise and discuss any differences between males and females. This study examined raw data from a previously done study with a large sample size of college students (n=629). The data included their answers to the Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale (EBBS), along with other measures of fitness. The EBBS consists of forty three statements that the participants rated from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Of the forty-three statements, thirteen of them describe mental health benefits and data was only analyzed from these statements. The results found that females cited the statements “I enjoy exercise,” “My disposition is improved with exercise,” “Exercise helps me decrease fatigue,” and “Exercise allows me to carry out normal activities without becoming tired” significantly (p < 0.001) more than males. This study is significant in the field of exercise science because society often tends to focus solely on the physical benefits of exercise. However, the mental benefits of exercise are very important and need to be made clearer.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2021


James M. Larkin

Mentor Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Exercise and Sport Science

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)