Almost 19 million Americans are thought to suffer from depressive disorders. Not to mention only 23 percent of individuals with clinical depression seek treatment, only 10 percent of which receive adequate care. However, researchers may have discovered a new "drug" for depression most anyone can take advantage of and utilize: Exercise.
In a study, which involved 80 adults aged 20 to 45 years who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression, researchers looked at exercise alone to treat the condition and found:
- Depressive symptoms were cut almost in half in those individuals who participated in 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions, three to five times a week after 12 weeks
- Those who exercised with low-intensity for three and five days a week showed a 30 percent reduction in symptoms
- Participants who did stretching flexibility exercises 15 to 20 minutes three days a week averaged a 29 percent decline
The results of this study are similar to that of other studies, which involved patients with mild or moderate depression being treated with antidepressants or cognitive therapy -- proving patients need not rely on drugs to treat depression.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine January 2005;28(1):1-8 (Free Full-Text Article)
Medical News Today January 24, 2005.