Exercise Improves Mental Health: What Is The Maximum Limit?

12 Août, 2018, 21:11 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

Dr Dean Burnett, neuroscientist and honorary research associate, from the school of psychology at Cardiff University, said the link between exercise and mental health had been hard to pin down but this large study "strongly suggests that there is a definite association between the two".

The participants experienced an average of 3.4 days of inadequate mental health a month.

Among the 75 types of exercise recorded, all types were linked with better mental health.

"The most heartwarming result was that even walking was associated with reduction in mental health burden", Adam Chekroud, author of the study and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, said in an interview.

The people included in the study completed surveys in 2015, 2013, and 2011 and they gave answers to questions based on their exercise behaviors, physical health, and mental health.

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"Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find ways to improve mental health through population health campaigns", said Dr. Chekroud. How exercise affects an individual's mental health?

The results were adjusted for age, race, gender, marital status, income, education, employment status, body mass, self-reported physical health and previous diagnosis of depression.

"Excitingly, the specifics of the regime, like the type, duration, and frequency, played an important role in this association". Strongest improvements were seen in those who had performed team sports, aerobics, and gym exercise. The people who exercised only reported two such days, 1.5 less than those who do notexercise so exercising reduced 43.2 percent of poor mental health days. Exercise was not always beneficial as exercising for more than 3 hours a day was associated with increased risk of poor mental health; and was noted that people who exercise excessively may have obsessive tendencies that may increase risks.

They were also asked how often and for how long they exercised during the past month outside of their regular job.

"Our finding that team sports are associated with the lowest mental health burden may indicate that social activities promote resilience and reduce depression by reducing social withdrawal and isolation, giving social sports an edge over other kinds".

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