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Video: Move For More Days Without Depression And Anxiety
Move for more days without depression and anxiety
According to an American study, physically active people are less likely to experience symptoms of mental health disorders, even when exercise represents household chores.
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According to an American study, physically active people are less likely to experience symptoms of mental health problems, even when the activities represent household chores.
The research team studied data from a survey of more than 1.2 million American adults. Participants talked about their physical activity over the past month (apart from their work activities). And also how many days their mental health was “not good” due to stress, depression and emotional problems.
On average, according to The Lancet Psychiatry, about 3.4 days per month, mental health was reported as "poor." Those participants who had any physical activity outside of work, on average, had less than 1.5 days of poor mental health per month.
For people with a history of depression, the effect was even greater. In this group, physically active people had (on average) 3.8 fewer days of poor mental health each month than those who did nothing.
"People who exercised had better mental health than those who did nothing, especially people who exercised three to five times a week for about 45 minutes," said lead author Adam Chekroud, a researcher is a psychiatrist from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
“This study confirms a wide range of health benefits of being active, regardless of your age, race, gender, income or physical health. Everything helps a little - just 30 minutes - and each exercise group, including walking, was associated with a lower mental health burden,”Chekrud continued.
All types of exercise had an impact on how often people reported poor mental health. Even household chores reduced the number of bad days by 9.7%.
A strong link was found in team sports (22% reduction in days with poor mental health versus no exercise), followed by aerobic and gymnastic exercise (21%). Meditative exercises such as yoga and tai chi are also helpful - they reduce the number of such days by 23%.
Curiously, being too active is also detrimental to mental health. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes is better for mental health than one session for 90 minutes. With prolonged physical activity (more than 3 hours per session), the number of days with poor mental well-being increased compared to 45-minute workouts or even their complete absence.
The study did not aim to prove whether physical activity can directly affect mood. It is possible that happier people exercise more often than those who have mental disorders or are under stress.
Another limitation of the study is that it looked at mental health in a broad sense rather than specific mood disorders. Dr. Gary Cooney of Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow, UK, noted: “Mental health is not a very useful term in this discourse, I think it could mean any or a combination of so many mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, drug addiction, dementia, schizophrenia, etc.”.
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