Researchers suggest that those people who do regular physical activity can benefit fewer depressive symptoms.
Doing exercise three times a week decreases the odds of being depressed by approximately 16%, says the study conducted by the researchers of University College London.
They illustrated a two-way relationship between depression and physical activity, indicating lower depression risk for people with higher activity and more depressive symptoms for those who are less active.
The team achieved the results after analyzing 11,135 people born in 1958 up until the age of 50.
Study researchers monitored the participants’ depressive symptoms and levels of physical activity at regular intervals in adulthood.
They found that each additional activity session per week reduced odds of depression by 6%, according to the paper published in JAMA Psychiatry.
To assess depressive symptoms, the researchers looked at participants’ responses to the Malaise Inventory, a questionnaire designed to assess psychological distress at ages 23, 33, 42, and 50
“Assuming the association is causal, leisure time physical activity has a protective effect against depression,” said the study leader Dr Snehal Pinto Pereira of the UCL Institute of Child Health.
“If an adult between their twenties and forties who isn’t physically active became active 3 times per week, they would reduce their risk of depression by approximately 16%,” Pinto Pereira reiterated.
“This large longitudinal study suggests that exercise has an important role to play for mental health.”
Scientists had earlier found that various forms of exercise training in twenties could preserve brain and protect memory skill in middle age.
An earlier study carried out at the researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden had achieved similar results.
The study had indicated that physical activity could induce alteration in skeletal muscle that led to remove the blood of a substance which would accumulate during stress, and through this way harm the brain.
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