Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Physical Activity and Mental Health

Babyak et al. (2000) examined the use of physical activity as a treatment for depression. Participants classified as clinically depressed were given, aerobic exercise, drugs or both as treatment. The exercise only group recovered as well as the other groups but had a lower relapse rate, perhaps caused by the participants feeling that they had a more active role in their treatment. The exercise group also a side effect of the participants getting fitter. There are many other studies associating participating in physical activity with increased feelings of well-being and other associated mental health benefits.

Details of the Babyak et al. (2000) study are here:

Other physical activity related sources NHS Health Scotland

Physical Activity and Mental Health: the role of physical activity in promoting mental wellbeing and preventing mental health problems, briefing document May 2008

Azar, D., Ball, K., Salmon, J., & Cleland, V. (2010). Physical activity correlates in young women with depressive symptoms: a qualitative study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7(1), 3.

Babyak M, Blumenthal JA, Herman S, Khatri P, Doraiswamy M, Moore K, Craighead WE, Baldewicz TT, & Krishnan KR (2000). Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months. Psychosomatic medicine, 62 (5), 633-8 PMID: 11020092

1 comment:

  1. I wonder whether you have any thoughts on the role of support post intervention? We discuss how behaviour change can be influenced but too often see it in terms of a magic bullet. Surely, longer term cultural change is needed to prevent relapse and that needs substantial support? I would be interested to read your thoughts...