Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Emily Graybill, PhD, NCSP

Second Advisor

Patricia Segura, MPH


INTRODUCTION: The definition of a healthy lifestyle among adults in the United States considers frequency of physical and mental activities, frequency of alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, and sleep habits. Evidence from the literature shows healthy lifestyle choices have a positive effect on psychological well-being and the reduction of mental health problems. Up until this point it has been unclear if the onset of mental illness results in a decline in physical health or vice versa.

AIM: The aim of this capstone project is to review the published literature that examined the relationship between mental health and physical health among adults and to propose a study that examines the relationship between physical health impacting psychological well-being.

METHOD: In-depth review of the literature as well as a proposed cross-sectional study consisting of a single survey with odds-ratio calculations to measure the association between healthy lifestyle choices (the exposure) and psychological well-being (the outcome).

RESULTS OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW: The results of the literature review suggest more than one model for studying the relationship between physical and mental health. They each convey how risks like depression and unhealthy body mass index (BMI) scores are associated with physical and mental health.

PROPOSED STUDY: The findings from the proposed study intend to address key characteristics of individuals who consistently report a healthy mental status and have daily physical routine habits. The results from this study can help understand how maintaining a healthy physical status affect our mental wellbeing.


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