Ski Your Way to Happiness?

News Picture: Ski Your Way to Happiness?

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Hitting the slopes soon?

A new study suggests that's a good idea, because skiing and snowboarding holidays can boost your overall happiness.

Researchers surveyed 279 visitors at three major ski resorts in South Korea. Of those people, 126 were skiers, 112 were snowboarders and 41 did both. Participants spent an average of 4.5 days at a resort, and 90 percent visited ski resorts less than five times a season.

The survey results showed that skiing and snowboarding have a positive effect on life satisfaction and happiness. Even just one ski holiday can make a difference. Skiers had a even higher level of pleasure and involvement in their sport than snowboarders, according to the study in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Previous research has found that physical activity can help prevent mental illness, increase positive thinking and buffer people from the stresses of life.

"Adult playfulness can influence people's happiness, while activities and socially convening around a sporting activity such as skiing have positive psychological outcomes and contribute to overall well-being," study author Hyun-Woo Lee, of Yonsei University in South Korea, said in a journal news release.

"This is also true for people who only casually participate in sports," he added.

Lee suggested trip organizers should try to build group solidarity and greater involvement so that people can grow emotionally, socially and creatively.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Applied Research in Quality of Life, news release, Dec. 2, 2013