Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Exercise ‘shows some benefits’ for depression

  • Comment

Exercise may benefit people suffering from depression, according to a review of the available evidence by researchers.

They said the latest evidence suggested that exercise reduced symptoms of depression, but they cautioned that more high quality trials were needed.

The Cochrane review was carried out by researchers from the University of Edinburgh. They looked at 39 trials involving 2,326 people diagnosed with depression.

In 35 trials comparing exercise with control treatments or no treatment, the researchers saw moderate benefits of exercise for treating depression.

However, they noted that more trials were needed, as they could not tell which kinds of exercise regimes were most effective or whether the benefits continued after a patient stopped their programme.

“Our review suggested that exercise might have a moderate effect on depression,” said review author Gillian Mead, from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at Edinburgh University.

But she added: “The evidence base would be strengthened by further large-scale, high quality studies.”

The latest review is an update of a previous Cochrane review on the topic, which found only limited evidence of benefit for exercise in depression.

However, since the original review, more trials have now been completed – prompting researchers to carry out the update.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.