Thursday, March 28, 2013

Report on Depression and Exercise

This is a summary of an interesting article that I read recently. If you want to look up the article I reference it at the end of the post. Please give me some feed back if you like this!

Based on past research depression has been linked to lower than normal physical activity levels. Despite this research there is still little known about what physiological evidences there are for this sedentary lifestyle among those suffering with depression. In healthy individuals an acute exercise bout will generally provoke a more positive mood. The researchers conducting the study felt that after an acute exercise bout that depressed individuals may have the opposite response compared to healthy individuals. This is one theory as to why depressed individuals often lead a sedentary lifestyle. 

The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of acute exercise on the depressed mood and fatigue in individuals suffering from depression compared to nondepressed participants. The participants in the study performed a four stage treadmill test which varied in difficulty based on the participant’s heart rate during the warm-up stage. Mood and fatigue of all the participants were measured before and after the acute bout of exercise using the Profile of Mood States Short Form. Immediately following the aerobic exercise exercise, depressed individuals displayed improvements in their mood, but after a thirty minute rest period displayed a rise in depressed mood and fatigue. 

The deferred rises in depressed mood and fatigue were greater in depressed participants compared to the control group.  The findings from the research showed that depressed individuals have increased negative mood 30 minutes post-exercise. These findings may partially explain the reduced commencement and devotion to exercise programs with those that suffer from depression.

Weinstein A, Deuster P, Francis J, Beadling C, Kop W. The Role of Depression in Short-Term Mood and Fatigue Responses to Acute Exercise. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine [serial online]. March 2010;17(1):51-57