• Julian Simpson

Exercise can help with depression!

Exercise can help with depression!


After the last couple of years, everyone is really wanting to work on their mental health and we are happy to report that exercise can help!

Research from September 2021 shows that exercise COMBINED with standard treatments have greater effect than only standard treatment alone

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Reference

Efficacy of exercise combined with standard treatment for depression compared to standard treatment alone: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Lee J, Gierc M, Vila-Rodriguez F, Puterman E, Faulkner G. J Affect Disord. 2021 Sep 17:S0165-0327(21)01002-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.09.043

Twenty-two studies were included in the meta-analysis. There was a moderate pooled effect in favour of exercise combined with standard treatment compared to standard treatment alone (SMD = -0.62, p < 0.00001, I2 = 70%), with greatest benefits accruing for more severe patients (SMD = -0.99, p < 0.00001; I2 = 0%). Sensitivity analyses remained significant for trials with lower risk of bias (SMD = -0.41, p = 0.0009; I2 = 52%) and patients with a major depressive disorder diagnosis (SMD = -0.70, p < 0.0001; I2 = 72%).

Limitations

There was considerable heterogeneity between trials. Uneven covariate distributions within subgroups limited our ability to explore the sources of heterogeneity.

Conclusions

Exercise combined with standard treatments leads to significantly greater antidepressant effects over standard treatment alone. Patients and clinicians should consider using exercise alongside standard treatments to enhance therapeutic efficacy for depression.

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