“Exercising and keeping active can slash the risk of depression by a third, research claims,” The Sun reports.
Researchers who pooled information from 49 studies from around the world, found that people who did the most physical activity were less likely to get depression than those who did the least.
Information about more than 266,000 people of all ages, none of whom had depression at the start of the study, was included in the analysis. People were asked to say how much exercise they had done in recent days or weeks. They were then followed up for an average of 7.4 years to see if they developed depression or depressive symptoms.
Because of the nature of the research, we can’t say that exercise alone was the reason people were less likely to get depressed. Other associated factors, such as long-term illnesses, might also be involved. There are other limitations to the study, which may make the results less accurate. For example, many of the pooled studies relied on people self-reporting the amount of exercise they did, which can be prone to error.
Nevertheless, this comprehensive study adds to previous evidence suggesting exercise is not just good for reducing symptoms of depression but may also prevent it.
(NHS Choices, 2018)