According to a study in JAMA Psychiatry, exercise may not only be beneficial for physical health but also symptoms associated with depressive disorders.
As part of a systematic review and meta-analysis of more than a dozen studies, the team of European and Australian researchers scoured databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, and SCOPUS.
“We included prospective cohort studies reporting physical activity at 3 or more exposure levels and risk estimates for depression with 3000 or more adults and 3 years or longer of follow-up,” the study’s authors explained in their report.
A total of 191,130 participants from numerous studies were included, with the findings establishing physical exercise as an effective means of reducing the severity of depressive disorders.
“This systematic review and meta-analysis of associations between physical activity and depression suggests significant mental health benefits from being physically active, even at levels below the public health recommendations,” the authors declared. “Health practitioners should therefore encourage any increase in physical activity to improve mental health.”
The study was publicized on April 13th, 2022.