A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds that physical activity (PA) can improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and overall psychological distress.
According to the review of research, exercise is effective across a wide range of adult populations. It was most effective for people with depression, HIV, kidney disease, pregnant and postpartum women, and healthy individuals. More intense exercise was linked to more significant symptom improvement. However, the effectiveness of physical activity in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and distress diminished over time. The authors write:
“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.”
Physical Activity Improves Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety