A jog in the park might make you feel virtuous for a while, but don’t count on it that working out will make you happy in the long term.
People who are depressed are often advised to exercise as part of their care regime. But new research suggests that physical activity won’t reduce the symptoms of depression.
Researchers of the Universities of Bristol and Exeter studied 361 patients who had recently been diagnosed with depression. Half the group received psychical activity interventions to complement their usual care, while the other half just received standard treatment.
The study found that those who were encouraged to exercise were indeed more active. However, exercise failed to alleviate symptoms of depression more than usual care alone,
John Campbell, one of the researchers from the University of Exeter, explained to the Telegraph: “Many patients suffering from depression would prefer not to have to take traditional anti-depressant medication, preferring instead to consider alternative non-drug based forms of therapy… Exercise and activity appeared to offer promise as one such treatment, but this carefully designed research study has shown that exercise does not appear to be effective in treating depression.”
Photo: Jerry Bunkers / Flickr
Chalder, M., Wiles, N., Campbell, J., Hollinghurst, S., Haase, A., Taylor, A., Fox, K., Costelloe, C., Searle, A., Baxter, H., Winder, R., Wright, C., Turner, K., Calnan, M., Lawlor, D., Peters, T., Sharp, D., Montgomery, A., & Lewis, G. (2012). Facilitated physical activity as a treatment for depressed adults: randomised controlled trial BMJ, 344 (jun06 1) DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e2758