[Paleopsych] BH: Exercise Nearly Halves Depression Symptoms

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Exercise Nearly Halves Depression Symptoms

Thirty minutes a day has same effect as some antidepressants and

    Betterhumans Staff
    1/25/2005 1:05 PM

    Thirty minutes of daily exercise can cut depression symptoms as much
    as some antidepressants and psychotherapy.

    "The effect you find using aerobic exercise alone in treating clinical
    depression is similar to what you find with antidepressant
    medications," says [8]Madhukar Trivedi of the [9]University of Texas
    Southwestern Medical Center, coauthor of a new study on the mental
    benefits of physical activity. "The key is the intensity of the
    exercise and continuing it for 30 to 35 minutes per day. It's not for
    the faint of heart."

    The study, which also involved researchers from the [10]Cooper
    Institute in Dallas and the [11]Alberta Children's Hospital in Canada,
    involved 80 people aged 20 to 45 who had mild to moderate depression.

    Between July 1998 and October 2001, participants were randomly placed
    into the following five groups:
      * Moderately intense aerobics three days a week.
      * Moderately intense aerobics five days a week.
      * Lower-intensity aerobics three days a week.
      * Lower-intensity aerobics five days a week.
      * Stretching flexibility exercises 15 to 20 minutes three days per

    Participants in both moderately intense aerobics groups, who did such
    things as exercise on a treadmill, had an average 47% decline in
    depressive symptoms after 12 weeks. Those in the low-intensity
    exercise groups had a 30% reduction. Those in the stretching group had
    a 29% decline.

    The results, says Trivedi, are comparable to those from studies in
    which people with mild to moderate depression were treated with
    antidepressants or cognitive therapy.

    The researchers are planning a follow-up study combining aerobic
    exercise and antidepressant treatment.

    The research is reported in the [12]American Journal of Preventive
    Medicine ([13]read abstract).


    8. http://www8.utsouthwestern.edu/findfac/professional/0,2356,17410,00.html
    9. http://www.swmed.edu/
   10. http://www.cooperinst.org/
   11. http://www.calgaryhealthregion.ca/ACH/
   12. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/07493797
   13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2004.09.003

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