Researchers from the University of South Australia say that exercise should be the main way to treat depression because a new study shows that it is 1.5 times more effective than counseling or the most common medications.
The analysis, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is the most thorough one to date. It looked at 97 reviews, 1039 trials, and 128,119 people. It shows that physical activity is a great way to help people with depression, anxiety, and stress.
In particular, the review showed that 12-week or shorter exercise programs were the most effective at reducing mental health symptoms. This shows how quickly physical activity can make a difference.
What researchers concluded: “Physical activity is highly beneficial for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety and distress across a wide range of adult populations, including the general population, people with diagnosed mental health disorders and people with chronic disease.”
“Physical activity should be a mainstay approach in the management of depression, anxiety and psychological distress.”