Exercise effectively reduces symptoms of depression. However, correlates of regular exercise in depressed women are unknown. This study assessed psychosocial determinants of exercise in a sample of women with depressive symptoms.
Sixty-one women completed demographic, depression, and exercise-related questionnaires.
The average Primary Health Ques-tionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) depression score was 12.1 (SD = 5.0), indicating moderate depressive symptoms. In the previous week, the women reported 12.8 metabolic equivalents (METs) of exercise. Low levels of self-efficacy and social support for exercise were also reported. Depressive symptoms were positively associated with barriers to exercise (r = .35, P < .01), and barriers were inversely related to exercise METs (r = –.37, P < .05). Barriers to activity and education level were significant determinants of exercise.
Women with depressive symptoms report minimal exercise involvement, numerous barriers to exercise, and low exercise self-efficacy and social support for exercise.