Physical Activity and the Prevention of Depression A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies

Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: .
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 11/2013; 45(5):649-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.08.001
Source: PubMed


Given its high prevalence and impact on quality of life, more research is needed in identifying factors that may prevent depression. This review examined whether physical activity (PA) is protective against the onset of depression.
A comprehensive search was conducted up until December 2012 in the following databases: MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Data were analyzed between July 2012 and February 2013. Articles were chosen for the review if the study used a prospective-based, longitudinal design and examined relationships between PA and depression over at least two time intervals. A formal quality assessment for each study also was conducted independently by the two reviewers.
The initial search yielded a total of 6363 citations. After a thorough selection process, 30 studies were included for analyses. Among these, 25 studies demonstrated that baseline PA was negatively associated with a risk of subsequent depression. The majority of these studies were of high methodologic quality, providing consistent evidence that PA may prevent future depression. There is promising evidence that any level of PA, including low levels (e.g., walking <150 minutes/weeks), can prevent future depression.
From a population health perspective, promoting PA may serve as a valuable mental health promotion strategy in reducing the risk of developing depression.

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Available from: George Mammen, Sep 29, 2014
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    • "Indeed, a number of recent reviews have highlighted the potential for exercise in both the treatment and prevention of mental illnesses (Mammen & Faulkner 2013; Rosenbaum et al. 2014; Stanton et al. 2014b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Nurses working in mental health are well positioned to prescribe exercise to people with mental illness. However, little is known regarding their exercise-prescription practices. We examined the self-reported physical activity and exercise-prescription practices of nurses working in inpatient mental health facilities. Thirty-four nurses completed the Exercise in Mental Illness Questionnaire – Health Practitioner Version. Non-parametric bivariate statistics revealed no relationship between nurses' self-reported physical activity participation and the frequency of exercise prescription for people with mental illness. Exercise-prescription parameters used by nurses are consistent with those recommended for both the general population and for people with mental illness. A substantial number of barriers to effective exercise prescription, including lack of training, systemic issues (such as prioritization and lack of time), and lack of consumer motivation, impact on the prescription of exercise for people with mental illness. Addressing the barriers to exercise prescription could improve the proportion of nurses who routinely prescribe exercise. Collaboration with exercise professionals, such as accredited exercise physiologists or physiotherapists, might improve knowledge of evidence-based exercise-prescription practices for people with mental illness, thereby improving both physical and mental health outcomes for this vulnerable population.
    International journal of mental health nursing 02/2015; 24(2). DOI:10.1111/inm.12125 · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    • "Local parks and libraries is hypothesized to promote social cohesion, trust and contact (Wavell et al., 2002), which in turn could protect against depression. Neighbourhoods that offer a variety of walking destinations also facilitate social contact and promote active transportation (Wendel-Vos et al., 2007), which is in turn associated with mental health (Mammen and Faulkner, 2013). The definition of neighbourhoods is also a point of debate in the literature (Osypuk and Galea, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The neighbourhood environment could play a role in the risk of depression in adults and those with a chronic illness. We investigated the effects of a range of neighbourhood characteristics on the 10-year risk of depression in a representative sample of 9026 Canadian adults and subsamples with a chronic condition. Characteristics of neighbourhoods were not significantly related to the risk of depression in the general sample and subsamples with a chronic condition. However, residing near a park was significantly associated with a lower risk of depression for people living in crowded households, and having a local health service nearby was protective for those living in materially deprived neighbourhoods. Living in a neighbourhood that was both socially advantaged and offered cultural services was also associated with lower risk of depression. Additional research is needed for smaller effect size detection. Future intervention research is warranted for health policy recommendations.
    Health & Place 11/2014; 30. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.10.009 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To investigate the association between depressive symptoms and diet quality, physical activity, and body composition among Nova Scotians. Methods 4511 men and women aged 35–69 years were recruited to the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health study from 2009 through 2010 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Depressive symptoms were assessed by using the Patient Health Questionnaire. Anthropometric indexes and body composition were measured. Current antidepressant use, habitual diet intake, physical activity, and potential confounders were collected through questionnaires. Results In multivariable regression analyses, depressive symptoms were positively associated with all obese indexes after controlling for potential confounders (all P for trend < 0.001). Compared with non-depressed individuals, those with mild and major depression had significantly increased odds ratios (ORs) for both obesity and abdominal obesity (OR 1.84; 95% confidence intervals [CI], (1.50, 2.25) and 1.56 (95% CI, 1.30, 1.87) for obesity and 1.46 (95% CI, 1.20, 1.77) and 1.88 (95% CI, 1.58, 2.24) for abdominal obesity, respectively). Depressed individuals were less likely to have a high quality diet or engage in high levels of physical activity compared with their non-depressed counterparts. Conclusions Depressive symptoms are associated with higher levels of obesity, poor diet, and physical inactivity among Nova Scotians in Canada.
    Preventive Medicine 11/2013; 61. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.12.022 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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