Feeling Blue? Exercise says science.

Posted by Daniel Patrick on

1 in 10 U.S. adults experienced depression in the last year. 1 in 5 experienced anxiety in the last year.

Maybe it is a no-brainer but if you need scientific evidence for the benefits of exercise, yoga, and meditation in treating the conditions of depression and anxiety- look no further!

Research in the form of a meta-analysis and systematic review from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina suggests that exercise is most helpful for treatment-resistant depression, unipolar depression, and PTSD as compared to Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and qi gong.

As an adjunctive treatment, exercise was helpful in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. What can't exercise do?

Yoga was found to have positive effects on depression and anxiety with greater effectiveness in the treatment of depression.

Mindfulness-based meditation was found to have positive effects on depression that persisted for six months or more. Mindfulness was also found to be supportive of anxiety disorder and adjunctive therapy. To nobody's surprise, the authors present that there are no apparent negative effects of mindfulness interventions and that their use as adjustive therapy for patients with depression and anxiety disorders.

Tai Chi and qi gong were also explored and demonstrated inconsistent results in this study.


Am Fam Physician. 2019 May 15;99(10):620-627.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published