Anxiety and depression are common presentations in women going through the menopause. There is a large amount of strong evidence from RCTs, systematic reviews and meta-analysis that show increased levels of physical activity reduced low mood and depressive symptoms, as well as improved anxiety and quality of life (1 – 13).
Low, moderate, and high intensity physical activities were included, as well as resistance exercises and mind body disciplines such as yoga and pilates (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13). Overall, the menopause quality of life (MENQOL) scores improved with higher levels of physical activity. From the qualitative data this may be due to overall improved mood, mental wellness, and an overall reduced perception of the impact of menopausal symptoms. It was also shown that social and supervised activities had greater adherence rates long term (4, 5).
Quality of Evidence
Quality of Evidence: A – Strong evidence from multiple RCTs, systematic review and meta-analysis.
Strength of Recommendation
Strength of Recommendation: 1 – Strong recommendation, clinical and patient consensus is that physical activity improves depression and anxiety symptoms as well as reduces the overall impact of menopausal symptoms as measured by the MENQOL score.
Clinical and patient consensus is that physical activity improves depression and anxiety symptoms as well as reduces the overall impact of menopausal symptoms as measured
- Courneya KS, McNeil J, O’Reilly R, Morielli AR, Friedenreich CM. Dose-Response Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women: results from the Breast Cancer and Exercise Trial in Alberta (BETA).
- Dabrowska-Galas M, Dabrowska J, Ptaszkowski K, Plinta R. High Physical Activity Level May Reduce Menopausal Symptoms. Medicina-Lithuania. 2019;55(8).
- Shorey S, Ang L, Lau Y. Efficacy of mind–body therapies and exercise‐based interventions on menopausal‐related outcomes among Asian perimenopause women: A systematic review, meta‐analysis, and synthesis without a meta‐analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2020;76(5):1098-110
- Javadivala Z, Allahverdipour H, Jafarabadi MA, Emami A. An Interventional strategy of physical activity promotion for reduction of menopause symptoms. Health Promotion Perspectives. 2020;10(4):383-92.
- Lu X, Liu L, Yuan R. Effect of the Information Support Method Combined with Yoga Exercise on the Depression, Anxiety, and Sleep Quality of Menopausal Women.
- Noh E, Kim J, Kim M, Yi E. Effectiveness of SaBang-DolGi Walking Exercise Program on Physical and Mental Health of Menopausal Women. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020;17(18).
- Sternfeld B, Dugan S. Physical activity and health during the menopausal transition. [Review]. 2011;1(3):537-66.
- Mansikkamäki K, Raitanen J, Malila N, Sarkeala T, Männistö S, Fredman J, Heinävaara S, Luoto R. Physical activity and menopause-related quality of life – a population-based cross-sectional study. Maturitas. 2015 Jan;80(1):69-74.
- Bernard P, Ninot G, Bernard PL, Picot MC, Jaussent A, Tallon G, et al. Effects of a six-month walking intervention on depression in inactive post-menopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Aging & Mental Health. 2015;19(6):485-92.
- Kai Y, Nagamatsu T, Kitabatake Y, Sensui H. Effects of stretching on menopausal and depressive symptoms in middle-aged women: a randomized controlled trial. 2016;1(8):827-32.
- Kim MJ, Cho J, Ahn Y, Yim G, Park HY. Association between physical activity and menopausal symptoms in perimenopausal women. Bmc Womens Health. 2014;14.
- Lum KJ, Simpson EEA. The impact of physical activity on psychological well-being in women aged 45-55 years during the Covid pandemic: A mixed-methods investigation. (1873-4111 (Electronic)).
- Luoto R, Moilanen J, Heinonen R, Mikkola T, Raitanen J, Tomas E, et al. Effect of aerobic training on hot flushes and quality of life-a randomized controlled trial. Annals of Medicine. 2012;44(6):616-