Oh, the blessings of movement! Even small doses appear to ward off the blues. In the largest and most extensive study to date, researchers concluded that regular exercise, of any variety, for as little as one hour cumulative, a week can help prevent depression.
For this landmark study, researchers monitored the exercise patterns as well as the mental well-being of 33,908 healthy adults over an 11-year study period. The results? Study subjects that reported no exercise were 44 percent more likely to develop depression over the study period vs. those who reported getting one to two hours of exercise a week.
Aside from its statistically vigorous findings, this study is also noteworthy as it is the first to offer a quantitative measure of the power of movement to safeguard against depression. Thankfully, a little goes a long way. How much exercise are you getting each week? I never miss a day because I KNOW it keeps me happy!
For even more incentive to get up and move, check out this podcast I did with one of the world’s leading experts on exercise and the brain, Dr. John Ratey.
American Journal of Psychiatry, 2017; appi.ajp.2017.1 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16111223