Running as Treatment for Depression: Is It Worth It?

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Memphis State University
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The present review examined the premise that running is a useful therapeutic strategy in the treatment of depressive states. Four of the major theoretical treatment models of depression were outlined to demonstrate how each conceptualized the relationship of running to improvement in mood. Research was then examined that linked running to improvement in psychological variables other than depression. Finally, research directly pertaining to the effects of running on depression was reviewed. Discussion of conceptual and methodological problems of this research indicated that definitive conclusions regarding the antidepressant properties of running are currently unwarranted. Specific guidelines and refinements for future research were provided.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Andrew W. Meyers, Department of Psychology, Memphis State University, Memphis, TN 38152.

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