Exercise and Depression
Brendan Stubbs from King’s College London and Felipe Barreto Schuch from the Universidad Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil have worked together to analyze and review previous studies and literature looking at the effects of exercise on the risk, symptoms and treatment of depression. The review published in Current Sports Medicine Reports concludes that exercise is an effective ‘medicine’ against depression in most cases.
The authors analyzed data from 49 prospective studies with a total of 266,939 individuals, adjusting for age, biological factors, sex and smoking and concluded that exercise can help to reduce the risk of depression by 17%.
The authors found that many specialists recommend antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy for managing clinical depression yet rarely include exercise in the list of recommendations for the prevention and treatment of depression. The authors believe that suggesting physical activity along with drugs and therapeutic strategies would benefit many of those suffering with depression.