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Body Awareness, Mindfulness and Affect: Does the Kind of Physical Activity Make 
a Difference? 
Benedek T. TIHANYI, Andrea SÁGI, Barbara CSALA, Nóra TOLNAI & Ferenc KÖTELES Contact / Kontakt / Kapcsolat
EJMH Vol 12 Issue 1-2 (2016) 97–111; https://doi.org/10.5708/EJMH.11.2016.1-2.6
Received: 12 May 2014; accepted: 8 October 2014; online date: 8 April 2016
Section: Short Communications
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Abstract

The aim of this cross-sectional study is to explore expected differences in the connection between
particular physical activities and positive and negative affect, body awareness or mindfulness.
Additionally, we describe the so-called tingling phenomenon (i.e. skin-related sensations evoked
by focusing on a body part) in terms of prevalence, gender differences and psychological concomitants.
A total of 1,057 individuals (331 male; mean age: 30.6 ± 10.17 years) practicing yoga,
Pilates training, kung fu, aerobic, or ballroom dance completed our questionnaire. Analysing
data of all sports together, weekly frequency of practice, as opposed to time elapsed since starting
practice, was connected to lower levels of negative affect and somatosensory amplification, and
to higher levels of positive affect. Advanced yoga and Pilates participants showed higher body
awareness; advanced kung fu participants amplified bodily signals the least, and aerobic was
related to the highest positive affect. Among beginners, there were no practically relevant differences
in the assessed constructs. These results might help to clarify the common and different
psychological properties that are needed for and/or can be developed by different sports.

Keywords

aerobic, body awareness, kung fu, mindfulness, physical activity, positive affect,
somatosensory amplification, tingling, well-being, yoga

Corresponding author

Ferenc KÖTELES,
Institute for Health Promotion and Sport Sciences,
Eötvös Loránd University,
Bogdánfy Ödön u. 10.
H-1117 Budapest,
Hungary
koteles.ferenc@ppk.elte.hu

Co-authors

Benedek T. TIHANYI: Semmelweis Egyetem, ÁOK Magatartástudományi Intézet; Hungary

Andrea SÁGI: Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Pedagógiai és Pszichológiai Kar, Pszichológiai Doktori Iskola; Hungary

Barbara CSALA: Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Pedagógiai és Pszichológiai Kar, Egészségfejlesztési és Sporttudományi Intézet; Hungary

Nóra TOLNAI: Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Pedagógiai és Pszichológiai Kar, Pszichológiai Doktori Iskola; Hungary