Adolescent and young adult university students' decreasing physical activity
levels impact considerably on their psychological stress levels. Acute and
long-term bouts of exercise can reduce psychological stress (Taylor, 2000).
In this study the Leisure-time Exercise Questionnaire and Positive Affect
Negative Affect Scale were used to determine students' physical activity levels
and emotional states before their first and second test weeks, in order to
ascertain the effect of therapeutic recreational activities on their appraisals of
their feelings and emotions during academically demanding times. The
recreational therapy was presented between these test weeks. Results
indicated that both the physical activity levels and the emotional state of the
experimental group improved. Future studies could include determining which
recreation activity has the greatest therapeutic effect while better controlling
participants in both groups. In view of its potential value for relieving stress,
therapeutic recreation could be used as a technique in relieving stress prior to
tests and examinations.