Expert consensus at the workshop and qualitative literature reports an improvement in self-confidence in depressed patients.(7) Lack of confidence is often considered a barrier to physical activity.(7) From qualitative data, this improvement may be as a result of the combination of improved sleep, healthy weight maintenance and controlled appetite.(6)
The get-set-to-go programme by Mind found a sense of competency and mastery through PA increased self-confidence and self-esteem.(8)
Evidence reviews have shown that improvements in self-esteem secondary to physical activity are supported with weak evidence however overall improvements in self-worth are as a result of change in multiple factors such as body appearance and capabilities and can change self-perception.(9,10)
Quality of Evidence
Grade C – Low quality
Strength of recommendation
Grade 1 – Strong recommendation
Physical activity can be recommended to enhance overall self-worth and improve confidence.
- Archer T, Josefsson T, Lindwall M. Effects of Physical Exercise on Depressive Symptoms and Biomarkers in Depression. CNS Neurol Disord – Drug Targets. 2015 Jan 26;13(10):1640–53.
- Singh NA, Clements KM, Fiatarone MA. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of exercise on sleep. Sleep [Internet]. 1997 [cited 2022 Aug 4];20(2):95–101. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9143068/
- Reid KJ, Baron KG, Lu B, Naylor E, Wolfe L, Zee PC. Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Med [Internet]. 2010 Oct [cited 2022 Aug 4];11(9):934. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC2992829/
- Brupbacher G, Gerger H, Zander-Schellenberg T, Straus D, Porschke H, Gerber M, et al. The effects of exercise on sleep in unipolar depression: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2021 Oct 1;59:101452.
- McKercher C, Patton GC, Schmidt MD, Venn AJ, Dwyer T, Sanderson K. Physical activity and depression symptom profiles in young men and women with major depression. Psychosom Med [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2022 Aug 4];75(4):366–74. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Fulltext/2013/05000/Physical_Activity_and_Depression_Symptom_Profiles.6.aspx
- Chalder M, Wiles NJ, Campbell J, Hollinghurst SP, Haase AM, Taylor AH, et al. Facilitated physical activity as a treatment for depressed adults: randomised controlled trial. BMJ [Internet]. 2012 Jun 9 [cited 2022 Aug 4];344(7860). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22674921/
- Searle A, Calnan M, Lewis G, Campbell J, Taylor A, Turner K. Patients’ views of physical activity as treatment for depression: a qualitative study. Br J Gen Pract [Internet]. 2011 Apr [cited 2022 Aug 4];61(585). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21439172/
- Kinnafick F, Smith N, Appleton P, Tweed L, Bayes N, Tiler C. Mind’s Get Set to Go programme – NCSEM-EM [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://www.ncsem-em.org.uk/research/mental-health-and-wellbeing/impact/home-minds-get-set-to-go-programmeminds-get-set-to-go-programme/
- Fox KR. The influence of physical activity on mental well-being. Public Health Nutr [Internet]. 1999 [cited 2022 Aug 4];2(3A):411–8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10610081/
- Knapen J, Vancampfort D, Moriën Y, Marchal Y. Exercise therapy improves both mental and physical health in patients with major depression. https://doi.org/103109/096382882014972579 [Internet]. 2015 Jul 1 [cited 2022 Aug 4];37(16):1490–5. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09638288.2014.972579
- Wynne Hess C, Karter J, Cosgrove L, Hayden L. Evidence-based practice: a comparison of International Clinical Practice Guidelines and current research on physical activity for mild to moderate depression. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/tbm/article/9/4/703/5128824
- Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, Lawlor DA, Rimer J, Waugh FR, et al. Exercise for depression. Saudi Med J [Internet]. 2013 Nov [cited 2022 Aug 4];34(11):1203. Available from: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub6/full
- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Richards J, Rosenbaum S, Ward PB, Stubbs B. Exercise as a treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. J Psychiatr Res. 2016 Jun 1;77:42–51.
- de Souza Moura A, Lamego M, Paes F, Ferreira Rocha N, Simoes-Silva V, Rocha S, et al. Comparison Among Aerobic Exercise and Other Types of Interventions to Treat Depression: A Systematic Review. CNS Neurol Disord – Drug Targets. 2015 Dec 9;14(9):1171–83.
- Nyström MBT, Neely G, Hassmén P, Carlbring P. Treating Major Depression with Physical Activity: A Systematic Overview with Recommendations. https://doi.org/101080/1650607320151015440 [Internet]. 2015 Jul 4 [cited 2022 Aug 4];44(4):341–52. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/16506073.2015.1015440
- Wegner M, Helmich I, Machado S, Nardi A, Arias-Carrion O, Budde H. Effects of Exercise on Anxiety and Depression Disorders: Review of Meta- Analyses and Neurobiological Mechanisms. CNS Neurol Disord – Drug Targets. 2014 Sep 15;13(6):1002–14.
- Rosenbaum S, Tiedemann A, Sherrington C, Curtis J, Ward PB. Physical Activity Interventions for People With Mental Illness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Psychiatry [Internet]. 2014 Mar 31 [cited 2022 Aug 4];75(9):14465. Available from: https://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/eating/physical-activity-interventions-mental-illness-systematic
- Korman N, Armour M, Chapman J, Rosenbaum S, Kisely S, Suetani S, et al. High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) for people with severe mental illness: A systematic review & meta-analysis of intervention studies– considering diverse approaches for mental and physical recovery. Psychiatry Res. 2020 Feb 1;284:112601.
- Chen Y jing, Li X xia, Pan B, Wang B, Jing G zhuang, Liu Q qian, et al. Non-pharmacological interventions for older adults with depressive symptoms: a network meta-analysis of 35 randomized controlled trials. https://doi.org/101080/1360786320191704219 [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 Aug 5];25(5):773–86. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13607863.2019.1704219
- Huang J, Nigatu YT, Smail-Crevier R, Zhang X, Wang J. Interventions for common mental health problems among university and college students: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Psychiatr Res. 2018 Dec 1;107:1–10.
- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Rosenbaum S, Richards J, Ward PB, Veronese N, et al. Exercise for depression in older adults: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials adjusting for publication bias. Rev Bras Psiquiatr [Internet]. 2016 Jul 1 [cited 2022 Aug 4];38(3):247–54. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27611903/
- Morres ID, Hatzigeorgiadis A, Stathi A, Comoutos N, Arpin-Cribbie C, Krommidas C, et al. Aerobic exercise for adult patients with major depressive disorder in mental health services: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Depress Anxiety [Internet]. 2019 Jan 1 [cited 2022 Aug 12];36(1):39–53. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30334597/
- Seshadri A, Adaji A, Orth SS, Singh B, Clark MM, Frye MA, et al. Exercise, Yoga, and Tai Chi for Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in Outpatient Settings: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Prim care companion CNS Disord [Internet]. 2020 Dec 31 [cited 2022 Aug 12];23(1). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33389843/
- Brinsley J, Schuch F, Lederman O, Girard D, Smout M, Immink MA, et al. Effects of yoga on depressive symptoms in people with mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med [Internet]. 2021 Sep 1 [cited 2022 Aug 5];55(17):992–1000. Available from: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/55/17/992
- Gill BK, Cant R, Lam L, Cooper S, Lou VWQ. Non-pharmacological depression therapies for older Chinese adults: A systematic review & meta-analysis. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2020 May 1;88:104037.
- Gordon BR, McDowell CP, Hallgren M, Meyer JD, Lyons M, Herring MP. Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms: Meta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. JAMA Psychiatry [Internet]. 2018 Jun 1 [cited 2022 Aug 12];75(6):566–76. Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2680311
- Martland R, Mondelli V, Gaughran F, Stubbs B. Can high intensity interval training improve health outcomes among people with mental illness? A systematic review and preliminary meta-analysis of intervention studies across a range of mental illnesses. J Affect Disord. 2020 Feb 15;263:629–60.
- Miller KJ, Gonçalves-Bradley DC, Areerob P, Hennessy D, Mesagno C, Grace F. Comparative effectiveness of three exercise types to treat clinical depression in older adults: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Ageing Res Rev. 2020 Mar 1;58:100999.
- Guo S, Liu F, Shen J, Wei M, Yang Y. Comparative efficacy of seven exercise interventions for symptoms of depression in college students: A network of meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore) [Internet]. 2020 Nov 20 [cited 2022 Aug 12];99(47):e23058. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2020/11200/Comparative_efficacy_of_seven_exercise.21.aspx
- Chan JSY, Liu G, Liang D, Deng K, Wu J, Yan JH. Special Issue–Therapeutic Benefits of Physical Activity for Mood: A Systematic Review on the Effects of Exercise Intensity, Duration, and Modality. J Psychol Interdiscip Appl. 2019 Jan 2;153(1):102–25.
- Bellon JA, Conejo-Ceron S, Sanchez-Calderon A, Rodriguez-Martin B, Bellon D, Rodriguez-Sanchez E, et al. Effectiveness of exercise-based interventions in reducing depressive symptoms in people without clinical depression: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Psychiatry [Internet]. 2021 Nov 22 [cited 2022 Aug 4];219(5):578–87. Available from: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/abs/effectiveness-of-exercisebased-interventions-in-reducing-depressive-symptoms-in-people-without-clinical-depression-systematic-review-and-metaanalysis-of-randomised-controlled-trials/E78F2113FAD9292C501403261C8EC5B7
- Song J, Liu ZZ, Huang J, Wu JS, Tao J. Effects of aerobic exercise, traditional Chinese exercises, and meditation on depressive symptoms of college student: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore) [Internet]. 2021 Jan 8 [cited 2022 Aug 12];100(1):e23819. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2021/01080/Effects_of_aerobic_exercise,_traditional_Chinese.18.aspx
- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Rosenbaum S, Richards J, Ward PB, Stubbs B. Exercise improves physical and psychological quality of life in people with depression: A meta-analysis including the evaluation of control group response. Psychiatry Res. 2016 Jul 30;241:47–54.
- Puetz TW. Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: Epidemiological evidence. Sport Med. 2006;36(9):767–80.
- Beserra AHN, Kameda P, Deslandes AC, Schuch FB, Laks J, de Moraes HS. Can physical exercise modulate cortisol level in subjects with depression? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. 2018 Oct 1;40(4):360–8.
- Brené S, Bjørnebekk A, Åberg E, Mathé AA, Olson L, Werme M. Running is rewarding and antidepressive.
- Leventhal AM. Relations between anhedonia and physical activity. Am J Health Behav. 2012 Nov;36(6):860–72.
- Yeh SH, Lin LW, Chuang YK, Liu CL, Tsai LJ, Tsuei FS, et al. Effects of music aerobic exercise on depression and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in community dwelling women. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015.
- Toups M, Carmody T, Greer T, Rethorst C, Grannemann B, Trivedi MH. Exercise is an effective treatment for positive valence symptoms in major depression. J Affect Disord [Internet]. 2016 Oct 15 [cited 2022 Aug 4];209:188–94. Available from: https://europepmc.org/articles/PMC6036912
- Krogh J, Saltin B, Gluud C, Nordentoft M. The DEMO Trial: A Randomized, Parallel-Group, Observer-Blinded Clinical Trial of Strength Versus Aerobic Versus Relaxation Training for Patients With Mild to Moderate Depression. J Clin Psychiatry [Internet]. 2009 Jun 15 [cited 2022 Aug 4];70(6):4131. Available from: https://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/depression/demo-trial-randomized-parallel-group-observer-blinded
- Bhui KS, Dinos S, Stansfeld SA, White PD. A Synthesis of the Evidence for Managing Stress at Work: A Review of the Reviews Reporting on Anxiety, Depression, and Absenteeism. J Environ Public Health [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2022 Aug 4];2012. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC3306941/
This evidence summary has been updated in 2022.