Physical Activity Doesn't Treat Depression

Physical activity, combined with traditional methods of treatment of depression, does not improve the state of the patients suffering from this disease.


Today, along with drug therapy, people prone to depression are offered to get engaged in sports at least three times a week. It is believed that physical activity helps to get rid of this state. However, the experiment conducted by the British scientists found that the guidelines that had been developed back in 2004 in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), did not work in real life.

The researchers invited 300 patients with depression to take part in the study. They were divided into two groups. The first group of the patients was treated with medications and physical activity, whereas the second group was not involved in sports. A year later, all the participants of the study demonstrated a reduction in the symptoms of depression, but no significant improvements were noticed in the group of the people involved in sports.

Professor of Public Health at King’s College in London, Alan Maryon-Davis, claims that increased physical activity can still help patients with mild symptoms of depression. It does not cure the disease, but improves their physical condition. The scientists were disappointed because they had hoped to confirm the theory that exercise reduced the symptoms of depression. However, those for whom sports have become a good habit should not stop training. Physical activity helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lowers blood pressure, has a beneficial effect on the balance of fats in the blood, strengthens muscles, and burns calories. Maryon-Davis says there are many people with depression, who experience physical health problems, so an “active” body can help restore a “healthy” spirit.

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