A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the effects of exercise on anxiety. Because previous meta-analyses in the area included studies of varying quality, only randomized, controlled trials were included in the present analysis. Results from 49 studies show an overall effect size of -0.48, indicating larger reductions in anxiety among exercise groups than no-treatment control groups. Exercise groups also showed greater reductions in anxiety compared with groups that received other forms of anxiety-reducing treatment (effect size = -0.19). Because only randomized, controlled trials were examined, these results provide Level 1, Grade A evidence for using exercise in the treatment of anxiety. In addition, exercise dose data were calculated to examine the relationship between dose of exercise and the corresponding magnitude of effect size.
Bradley M. Wipfli, Chad D. Rethorst, and Daniel M. Landers
Kendall J. Sharp, Charles C. South, Cherise Chin Fatt, Madhukar H. Trivedi, and Chad D. Rethorst
Exercise reduces depressive symptoms and improves physical health in persons with depression. However, the interventions implemented in research studies require significant resources, limiting adoption into clinical practice and suggesting the need for more efficient interventions. In two nonrandomized pilot studies, the authors evaluated the feasibility of a multicomponent intervention (group educational sessions, Fitbit, and access to exercise facility) in adult persons with depression and breast cancer survivors with depression. The participants in both pilot studies completed 12 weeks of group educational sessions to increase physical activity levels, were provided with self-monitoring devices, and were provided access to on-site exercise facilities. Depressive symptoms significantly decreased postintervention, and over 90% of the participants reported that they had benefited from the intervention. These results indicate that implementing a multicomponent intervention is feasible and may reduce depressive symptoms and improve other psychosocial outcomes.
Chad D. Rethorst, Ashley E. Moncrieft, Marc D. Gellman, Elva M. Arredondo, Christina Buelna, Shelia F. Castañeda, Martha L. Daviglus, Unab I. Khan, Krista M. Perreira, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez, and Mark Stoutenberg
The burden of depression among Hispanics/Latinos indicates the need to identify factors related to depressive symptoms. This paper examines the relationship of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) with depressive symptoms in Hispanic/Latinos.
The Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a population-based, cohort study of Hispanic/Latinos in 4 United States metropolitan areas. Objectively measured PA was coded into: sedentary behavior (SB), light-intensity (LPA), moderate-intensity (MPA), and vigorous-intensity (VPA); and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale-10 assessed depressive symptoms. Multiple regression analysis utilizing isotemporal substitution, adjusted for relevant covariates, examined PA as predictors of depressive symptoms.
Substitution of 1 hour of SB with VPA resulted in a significant decrease in depressive symptoms (β = –1.215, P = .021). Similar decreases were observed when VPA replaced LPA (β = –1.212, P = .021) and MPA (β = –1.50 P = .034). MPA and LPA were not associated with lower depressive symptoms.
Previous research has focused on the relationship of MVPA on depressive symptoms. Our results suggest these constructs should be examined separately as they may have unique relationships with depressive symptoms. The association of SB with greater depressive symptoms confirms previous reports.