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Monika Guszkowska, Marta Langwald and Katarzyna Sempolska

Background:

This study aims to compare the changes in the negative indices of mental health in pregnant women who participated in programs of either physical exercise classes or childbirth classes.

Methods:

The study was quasi-experimental in nature and run on 109 healthy primigravidae aged from 22 to 37, including 62 women participating in an exercise program (exercise group, E-group) for pregnant women and 47 women attending traditional childbirth classes (childbirth classes group, CC-group). The mental health assessment was performed using Goldberg’s General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28).

Results:

The negative indices of mental health did not change over time. Lower levels of somatic symptoms and severe depression, as well as total score, were observed in the E-group (condition effect). Time × condition interactions, as well as analysis of change within the groups, indicated that in the CC-group all indices of disorders increased significantly, whereas in the E-group, only the increase of depression was significant.

Conclusions:

Regular physical exercises during pregnancy may constitute a factor in the prophylaxis of mental health disorders in pregnant women.

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Kenneth E. Mobily, Linda M. Rubenstein, Jon H. Lemke, Michael W. O’Hara and Robert B. Wallace

The purpose of the study was to develop an explanatory model of the exercise/depression relationship using a rural-residing population of elderly aged 65 or older. Subjects were selected from the 3,673 persons who participated in the Iowa 65+ Rural Health Study. The 2,084 subjects with complete data, valid information about depressive symptoms, and ability to walk across a small room were divided into two cohort groups at baseline: those with few and those with more depressive symptoms. Logistic regression models using walking status, demographic variables, and chronic health conditions were developed to predict depressive symptoms for this population at a 3-year follow-up. Consistent with previous studies using mixed-age cohorts, physical activity was negatively associated with depressive symptoms. We concluded that the relationship between exercise and depressive symptoms may be manifested in both subjects with more and few depressive symptoms because both groups benefited from daily walking.

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Torunn Bodin and Egil W. Martinsen

Physical activity is associated with an antidepressant effect in clinical depression. Self-efficacy is one mechanism proposed to explain this effect. In this study we compared the changes in mood following exercise sessions with high and stable self-efficacy (stationary bike exercise) to exercise sessions with initially low but increasing self-efficacy (martial arts). The experimental design incorporated repeated measures and counter-balancing. Twelve clinically depressed participants completed 45-min exercise sessions consisting of stationary bike use and martial arts. A waiting control condition of 30 minutes was conducted before each exercise session. During martial arts, statistically significant increases in positive affect, reductions in negative affect and state anxiety, and increased self-efficacy were observed. During the stationary bike exercise no statistically significant changes were found. The results indicate that an increase in self-efficacy may be important for mood benefits to occur.

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Markus Tilp, Simon Steib, Gudrun Schappacher-Tilp and Walter Herzog

Force enhancement following muscle stretching and force depression following muscle shortening are well-accepted properties of skeletal muscle contraction. However, the factors contributing to force enhancement/depression remain a matter of debate. In addition to factors on the fiber or sarcomere level, fiber length and angle of pennation affect the force during voluntary isometric contractions in whole muscles. Therefore, we hypothesized that differences in fiber lengths and angles of pennation between force-enhanced/depressed and reference states may contribute to force enhancement/depression during voluntary contractions. The purpose of this study was to test this hypothesis. Twelve subjects participated in this study, and force enhancement/depression was measured in human tibialis anterior. Fiber lengths and angles of pennation were quantified using ultrasound imaging. Neither fiber lengths nor angles of pennation were found to differ between the isometric reference contractions and any of the force-enhanced or force-depressed conditions. Therefore, we rejected our hypothesis and concluded that differences in fiber lengths or angles of pennation do not contribute to the observed force enhancement/depression in human tibialis anterior, and speculate that this result is likely true for other muscles too.

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Fabien D. Legrand

We examined the possible mediating role of physical self-perceptions, physical self-esteem, and global self-esteem in the relationships between exercise and depression in a group of socioeconomically disadvantaged women with elevated symptoms of depression. Forty-four female residents of a low-income housing complex were randomized into a 7-week-long exercise-training group or a wait-list group. Depression, physical self-perceptions and self-esteem were measured repeatedly. Significant changes were found for depression, self-esteem, physical self-worth, and self-perceived physical condition in the exercise-training group. Intent-to-treat analyses did not alter the results. Most of the reduction in depression occurred between Week 2 and Week 4 while initial improvement in physical self-worth and self-perceived physical condition was observed between baseline and Week 2. These variables can be seen as plausible mechanisms for effects of exercise on depression.

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Andreas Heissel, Anou Pietrek, Michael A. Rapp, Stephan Heinzel and Geoffrey Williams

-analyses underline the importance of an exercise professional’s occupational qualifications for a positive effect on psychological health and well-being. Large effects were found for exercise training as a treatment for depression in 25 randomized controlled trials, showing the largest effect sizes for exercise

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Glenn S. Brassington and Robert A. Hicks

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between aerobic exercise, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness by examining variables that may be associated with exercise in improving sleep (i.e., anxiety, depression, stress, and minor physical symptoms). Specifically, 33 sedentary and 46 exercising men and women (mean age 73, range 60–82) were asked to complete questionnaires on sleep, anxiety, depression, stress, and minor physical symptoms. Next, subjects were asked to complete a 14-day sleep log. The groups did not differ on a number of control variables: age, gender, trait sociability, trait shyness, number of social contacts, and body mass. Analyses revealed that the exercise group had greater sleep quality in the form of greater sleep duration, less sleep onset latency, and less daytime dysfunction. It was also found that exercise seems to be related to sleep quality and daytime naps independent of the psychological variables; however, exercise seems to be related to the other parameters of sleep by mediating the salience of the psychological variables.

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Lynda M. Mainwaring, Sean M. Bisschop, Robin E.A. Green, Mark Antoniazzi, Paul Comper, Vicki Kristman, Christine Provvidenza and Doug W. Richards

Despite suggestions that emotions influence recovery from injury, there is little research into the emotional sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or “concussion,” in sport. This examination compares emotional functioning of college athletes with MTBI to that of uninjured teammates and undergraduates. A short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; Grove & Prapavessis, 1992) assessed baseline emotions in all groups, and serial emotional functioning in the MTBI and undergraduate groups. Whereas preinjury profiles were similar across groups, the MTBI group showed a significant postinjury spike in depression, confusion, and total mood disturbance that was not seen for the other groups. The elevated mood disturbances subsided within 3 weeks postinjury. Given that concussed athletes were highly motivated to return to play, these data could be used as a benchmark of normal emotional recovery from MTBI. Findings are discussed in relation to current literature on emotional reaction to injury and directions for future research.

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James Annesi

depression, food cravings, and weight-related quality-of-life will significantly moderate bivariate relationships between changes in the treatment-focused psychosocial variables and physical activity. It was hoped that the present findings over a 6-month period would stimulate larger and more comprehensive

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Alan Peppard and Craig R. Denegar