Apr 14, 2022Study Finds Link Between Lack of Exercise & Depression
At one point or another, we’ve all heard that there’s a positive correlation between strong physical health and mental health.
Now we might have applicable evidence to support that statement.
A recent report from MedicalXpress.com highlighted the study’s findings. Below is an excerpt from MedicalXpress.com’s review of the study.
Researchers analyzed 15 existing studies with data on exercise and depression, finding an association between physical activity and depression risk. The investigators estimated that almost 12% of cases of depression could have been prevented with a certain amount of exercise.
It didn’t take much.
Physical activity was associated with significant mental health benefits, even when someone wasn’t exercising as hard or as often as public health recommendations, according to the researchers, led by Soren Brage and James Woodcock, from the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in England.
People engaging in brisk walking for 2.5 hours a week had a lower risk of depression than those who didn’t exercise at all, the study found.
“Any movement, every movement, every step counts. It doesn’t have to be as much as you need for physical health. You can get by with half of that, and this is very consistent with the literature,” said Jennifer Heisz, a neuroscientist who was not involved in this study.
Heisz is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
The 15 studies analyzed for this new paper included more than 191,000 participants in all.
The researchers found that people who accumulated half the recommended amount of physical activity had an 18% lower risk of depression compared to adults with no activity. Those who accumulated the recommended hours had a 25% lower risk of depression. Benefits diminished with exercise above that level.
Depression affects about 280 million people throughout the world and is the leading cause of mental health-related disease burden, the study noted. It is associated with premature death from suicide and health issues.
To read the full story from MedicalXpress.com, click here.