Reduces stress level
Expert consensus opinion, via a workshop on 12th April 2018 and subsequent online consultation agrees that physical activity can reduce stress levels and agitation. Exercise may improve physiological stress responses and reduce the levels of cortisol8,9. Even a single exercise session can improve mood, reduce stress level and improve energy level8.
Quality of evidence
Strength of recommendation
There is expert opinion and limited evidence supporting the use of physical activity to reduce stress levels and decrease agitation in depression.
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- 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. 2013;75(4):366-374.
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- Knapen J, Vancampfort D, Moriën Y, Marchal Y. Exercise therapy improves both mental and physical health in patients with major depression. Disabil Rehabil. 2015;37(16):1490-1495.
- Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, et al. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013(9):CD004366.
- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Rosenbaum S, et al. Exercise for depression in older adults: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials adjusting for publication bias. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2016;38(3):247-254.
- de Souza Moura AM, Lamego MK, Paes F, et al. Comparison Among Aerobic Exercise and Other Types of Interventions to Treat Depression: A Systematic Review. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;14(9):1171-1183.
- Nyström MB, Neely G, Hassmén P, Carlbring P. Treating Major Depression with Physical Activity: A Systematic Overview with Recommendations. Cogn Behav Ther. 2015;44(4):341-352.
- Wegner M, Helmich I, Machado S, Nardi AE, 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;13(6):1002-1014.
- 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. 2014;75(9):964-974.
- 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;77:42-51.
- 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;241:47-54.
- Puetz TW. Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: epidemiological evidence. Sports Med. 2006;36(9):767-780.
- Brené S, Bjørnebekk A, Aberg E, Mathé AA, Olson L, Werme M. Running is rewarding and antidepressive. Physiol Behav. 2007;92(1-2):136-140.
- Leventhal AM. Relations between anhedonia and physical activity. Am J Health Behav. 2012;36(6):860-872.
- Yeh SH, Lin LW, Chuang YK, et al. Effects of music aerobic exercise on depression and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in community dwelling women. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:135893.
- Greer TL, Grannemann BD, Chansard M, Karim AI, Trivedi MH. Dose-dependent changes in cognitive function with exercise augmentation for major depression: results from the TREAD study. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015;25(2):248-256.
- 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. 2009;70(6):790-800.
- 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. 2012;2012:515874.