Physical Activity Found to be More Effective than Meds for Depression

As reported by Earth.com, a large study conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than counseling or medications for treating depression. By examining more than 1,000 trials involving a total of nearly 130,000 participants, the experts discovered that physical activity is highly beneficial for improving symptoms of anxiety, depression, and distress, and that exercise interventions which were 12 weeks or shorter were the most effective in alleviating mental illness symptoms. The largest benefits were observed in people with depression, pregnant and postpartum women, people diagnosed with HIV or kidney disease, and healthy individuals. “These findings highlight not only the effectiveness of such interventions,” Earth.com stated, “but also the speed at which physical activity can make significant mental changes.” The World Health Organization (WHO) says about one in eight people worldwide currently suffer from a mental disorder. Although mental issues are mostly treated by medication or psychological/psychiatric counseling, physical activity is known to improve mental health. Despite the evidence, it has not been widely adopted as a first-choice treatment. One researcher noted that all types of physical activity and exercise were beneficial, including aerobic exercise such as walking, resistance training, Pilates, and Yoga. The research also showed that it doesn’t take much for exercise to make a positive change to mental health.

Did you find our information helpful? 

We are always adding new information and resources and are open to suggestions for improvement. We can do even more with your contributions.

Service Areas Details:

  • Boulder County and City of Boulder
  • Central Mountains: Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Lake
  • City and County of Denver
  • City of Aurora
  • Colorado Springs Metro area: Counties of El Paso, Park, Teller
  • Denver Metro area: Counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin, Jefferson
  • Eastern Plains: Counties of Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln
  • Larimer County and City of Fort Collins
    Las Animas/ Huerfano: Counties of Huerfano, Las Animas
  • Northeast Colorado: Counties of Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Yuma
  • Northwest: Counties of Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt
  • Pueblo County and City of Pueblo
  • San Juan Region: Counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan
  • South Central Colorado: Counties of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, Saguache
  • Southeast Colorado: Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Prowers, Otero
  • Summit Region: Counties of Eagle, Grand, Jackson, Pitkin, Summit
  • Weld County
  • West Central: Counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel