Just an Hour of Exercise a Week Could Prevent Depression

Just an Hour of Exercise a Week Could Prevent Depression

December 25, 2017

Just an hour of exercise a week could prevent depression, a study has found.


A study analyzing 30,000 adults has shown that people who do not exercise are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to those who exercise one to two hours a week. To be exact, they are 44% more likely to suffer from depression.

The research, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry also showed that 12% of the depression cases could have been prevented by a small amount of regular exercise.

A lot of research has been done on the subject of exercise and depression but the study's lead author, Associate Professor Samuel Harvey, said "this is the first time we have been able to quantify the preventive potential of physical activity in terms of reducing future levels of depression. These findings are exciting because they show that even relatively small amounts of exercise, from one hour per week, can deliver significant protection against depression."

An international research team, led by the Black Dog Institute, studied 33,908 Norwegian adults who's level of exercise and symptoms of depression or anxiety were monitored over 11 years. A healthy group of participants were asked to report how often they exercise and at what intensity (ranging from breathless to exhaustion). They were also asked their level of anxiety or depression. Taking into account outside variables such as socio-economic and demographic factors, substance use, body mass Index, new onset physical illness and perceived social support, the research team accounted for any confounding variables.

Bottom Line

Most people know that exercise is beneficial in some way or another but being able to understand just how much of an impact, even a little bit of exercise weekly can have, is crucial for our society's well being. Professor Harvey added: " these results highlight the great potential to integrate exercise into individual mental health plans and broader public health campaigns."

Working out doesn't have to be intimidating. You don't have to start exercising 5 times a week to see results... you can reap the benefits by simply including one hour a week of exercise.

So that being said, let's get to moving!


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