Exercise can substantially improve mental health • Earth.com
12 August, 2018, 21:11
The ideal amount of exercise was found to be from three to five 45-minute sessions a week, but more exercise was not always found to be better for your mental health.
The investigators found that cycling, team-oriented sports, and aerobic exercise are beneficial for mental health. Compared to people who reported doing no exercise, people who exercised reported 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month - a reduction of 43 percent.
Now a new study extends this fact but adding a caution: over-exercising may cause harmful effects on mental health.
All types of activity were found to improve mental health no matter people's age or gender, including doing the housework and looking after the children.
"I would summarise the results as indicating that activity is good for mental health - but that one can do too much", said Professor Stephen Lawrie, head of psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh.
"Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find ways to improve mental health through population health campaigns", said Dr. Chekroud. The individuals reported on their physical health, mental health, and exercise behaviors.
"Excitingly, the specifics of the regime, like the type, duration, and frequency, played an important role in this association".
They included more than 1.2 million people from the USA who were investigated based on the influence of the exercise duration, type, intensity and frequency on the mental health. Team sports and exercise involving social groups had the most impact.
Regular physical activity lasting 45 minutes three to five times a week can reduce poor mental health - but doing more than that is not always beneficial, a large United States study suggests.
Even completing household chores was associated with reduction in poor mental health days of around 10 per cent, or around half a day less each month, the researchers said.
Previous research into the effects of exercise on mental health have thrown up mixed results, and some studies suggest that lack of activity could lead to poor mental health as well as being a symptom of it.
On average, participants had 3.4 days of poor mental health a month.
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