Researchers pooled data from 49 studies to create a sample of more than 266,000 people on four continents to examine the role of physical activity in preventing depression.
“The key message is that really when it comes to exercise and our mental health that something is better than nothing,” said study author Simon Rosenbaum, senior research fellow in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
“And if you’re doing something, try to add a little bit more.”
The Canadian mood and anxiety treatment guidelines for mild to moderate depression say there’s good evidence of exercise as a treatment, said Dr. David Goldbloom, a psychiatrist and senior medical adviser at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He was not involved in the research.
“We live in an age where between limitless streaming of TV, the paralytic effect of social media on human movement and the erosion of physical education … [we are] creating a more static human population,” said Goldbloom.