Evidence have shown that people who perform as little as 30min a day of physical activity can reduce the risks of depression, anxiety and general stress. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999, looking at people suffering from depression. The study found that people who performed regular physical activity for 16 week had similar outcomes to those on prescribed medications. This would suggest that exercise can be an extremely effective tool in treating depressive symptoms. Other research has found that inactive individuals are at a 150% greater risk of suffering from depression.
A study in 2012 found that people who are inactive have a 38% increased risk of suffering from anxiety compared to physically active people. In 2008 a study published in the Journal of School Health found that youth who regularly participated in physical activity had a 54% lower suicide risk compared to their inactive counterparts.
Physical activity has also been shown to increase self-efficacy and general wellbeing. Participating in physical activity can increase optimism by up to 213%, happiness by 52% and cognitive performance by nearly 80%.
To improve the way you feel and reduce your risks or help with the management of mental health disorders, speak to an Exercise Physiologist to assist you with a physical activity program.