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Bradley M. Wipfli, Chad D. Rethorst and Daniel M. Landers

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.

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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

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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.