This daily habit is powerful medicine for depression

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Scientists from the University of Cambridge found that exercise can make a difference in major depressive disorder

They found physical activity was linked to big mental health benefits, even when someone wasn’t exercising as hard or as often as public health recommendations.

The research is published in JAMA Psychiatry and was conducted by Soren Brage et al.

In the study, the team analyzed 15 existing studies (more than 191,000 participants in all) with data on exercise and depression, finding an association between physical activity and depression risk.

They 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 the exercise above that level.

The team estimated that almost 12% of cases of depression could have been prevented with a certain amount of exercise.

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.

Depression affects about 280 million people throughout the world and is the leading cause of mental health-related disease burden. It is associated with premature death from suicide and health issues.

Estimating the dose of exercise needed can be challenging.

A lot of people who have depression go undiagnosed.

It can also be difficult to motivate people living with depression to get moving, so the information that any movement can add benefit may be helpful for those individuals.

The team says people should try to move a little every day. Maybe it’s a five-minute or 10-minute walk. It could be a two-minute movement break every 30 minutes for people who sit all day.

In treating depression, there is a role for exercise, psychotherapy, taking away drugs of abuse, and adding medications specifically targeted to be therapeutic.

The reasons why exercise may benefit mental health are many.

It can improve circulation to the brain and have an impact on inflammation and the body’s immune response.

There’s a relationship between heart health and depression. There may also be intangible benefits, such as feeling empowered by getting stronger or having a sense of well-being.

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If you care about depression, please read studies about common antibiotic that may reduce depression, and this nutrient in your diet may help fight depression

For more information about mental health, please see recent studies about depression drug that may protect you from severe COVID-19, and results showing PTSD, anxiety, and depression may not be mental diseases.

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