Even a Little Exercise Appears to Prevent Depression in New Study

The review found that people who reported being physically active were noticeably less likely to later be diagnosed with depression.

Exercise is one of the healthiest things a person can do, and many studies in recent years have found that it can keep both the body and brain sharp. 

Physical activity is known to help people acutely suffering from mental health problems as well, in conjunction with other treatments. 

The study reviewed data from 15 population studies, involving nearly 200,000 people. Importantly, these were prospective studies, meaning that people’s health outcomes

were intentionally tracked from the very start—in contrast, a retrospective study can only look back in time, making it harder to confirm a cause-and-effect link between a factor and a health outcome.

As part of these reviewed studies, participants were asked about their level of physical activity and had their history of clinical depression recorded as well.

 people who met the minimal duration of exercise recommended by many public health organizations—about the equivalent of two-and-a-half hours of brisk walking per week—had a 25% lower risk of depression.

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