Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
ABSTRACT Depression and anxiety are the most common psychiatric conditions seen in the general medical setting, affecting millions of individuals in the United States. The treatments for depression and anxiety are multiple and have varying degrees of effectiveness. Physical activity has been shown to be associated with decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physical activity has been consistently shown to be associated with improved physical health, life satisfaction, cognitive functioning, and psychological well-being. Conversely, physical inactivity appears to be associated with the development of psychological disorders. Specific studies support the use of exercise as a treatment for depression. Exercise compares favorably to antidepressant medications as a first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression and has also been shown to improve depressive symptoms when used as an adjunct to medications. While not as extensively studied, exercise has been shown to be an effective and cost-efficient treatment alternative for a variety of anxiety disorders. While effective, exercise has not been shown to reduce anxiety to the level achieved by psychopharmaceuticals.
SourceAvailable from: Orjan Ekblom[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Exercise can relieve both depressive and anxiety disorders and it is therefore of importance to establish movement patterns of mildly to moderately affected sufferers to estimate the treatment potential. The aim is to describe the physical activity patterns of people affected by mild to moderate depressive and/or anxiety symptoms using objective measures of physical activity. Methods The design of the study was cross-sectional using data from 165 people aged 18–65 years, with mild to moderate depressive and/or anxiety disorder symptoms (scoring ≥10 on the PHQ-9). Diagnoses were made using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) and symptom severity was measured with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). The participants wore accelerometers for a week to evaluate physical activity patterns. Results No statistically significant differences were detected between different diagnoses, though depressed participants tended to be less active and more sedentary. Only one-fifth of the sample followed public health guidelines regarding physical activity. Each one point increase in MADRS was associated with a 2.4 minute reduction in light physical activity, independent of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary time. MADRS was positively associated with number of sedentary bouts. Conclusions The physical activity pattern of people with depressive and/or anxiety disorders was characterized by large amounts of sedentary time and low fulfillment of physical activity guidelines. There is therefore a large treatment potential for this group by increasing exercise. The results suggest that instead of focusing exclusively on high intensity exercise for treating depressive and anxiety disorders, health care providers might encourage patients to reduce sedentary time by increasing light physical activity and decreasing the number of sedentary bouts, though further studies are needed that can determine directionality.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0115894. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115894 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite evidence that exercise has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression, it is unclear whether these data can be extrapolated to bipolar disorder. Available evidence for bipolar disorder is scant, with no existing randomized controlled trials having tested the impact of exercise on depressive, manic or hypomanic symptomatology. Although exercise is often recommended in bipolar disorder, this is based on extrapolation from the unipolar literature, theory and clinical expertise and not empirical evidence. In addition, there are currently no available empirical data on program variables, with practical implications on frequency, intensity and type of exercise derived from unipolar depression studies. The aim of the current paper is to explore the relationship between exercise and bipolar disorder and potential mechanistic pathways. Given the high rate of medical co-morbidities experienced by people with bipolar disorder, it is possible that exercise is a potentially useful and important intervention with regard to general health benefits; however, further research is required to elucidate the impact of exercise on mood symptomology.Frontiers in Psychology 01/2015; 6:147. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00147 · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Medical students experience higher rates of mental illness than the general population. With competition rising for success in medical school, and residency, increasing incidence of distress are leading this population to experience higher rates of thoughts of dropping out of school, and even suicide. Since many stigmas deter medical students from receiving mental health counseling, such as the perceived inability to handle the stresses of medical school, and the potential lack of competitiveness for residencies if reported, prevention of mental illness may be a better course to take in reducing prevalence in this population. Regular exercise has demonstrated a positive effect on not only promoting physical health, but also mental health. Exercise encourages a healthy mood, positive self esteem, and better cognition, while decreasing the chances of depression, anxiety, and burnout. Implementing exercise time into medical school curriculums, just like the basic sciences, albeit for less time in the day, could provide a feasible way to ensure that all students are taking time to partake in this important activity for their well being. Though medical schools are rigid with attempts to make changes in their curriculum, thirty minutes a day, three to five times a week of exercise of the students' choice not only is more cost effective than counseling, but it also reduces the chances that they will experience burnout, which if left untreated could transcend into a compromised training experience.09/2014; 6(2):5549. DOI:10.4081/mi.2014.5549