Physical activity dose-response effects on outcomes of depression and anxiety

A. L. Dunn, M. H. Trivedi, H. A. O'Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

498 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the scientific evidence for a dose-response relation of physical activity with depressive and anxiety disorders. Methods: Computer database searches of MEDLINE, PsychLit, and Internet and personal retrieval systems to locate population studies, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), observational studies, and consensus panel judgments were conducted. Results: Observational studies demonstrate that greater amounts of occupational and leisure time physical activity are generally associated with reduced symptoms of depression. Quasi-experimental studies show that light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity exercise can reduce symptoms of depression. However, no RCTs have varied frequency or duration of exercise and controlled for total energy expenditure in studies of depression or anxiety. Quasi-experimental and RCTs demonstrate that both resistance training and aerobic exercise can reduce symptoms of depression. Finally, the relation of exercise dose to changes in cardiorespiratory fitness is equivocal with some studies showing that fitness is associated with reduction of symptoms and others that have demonstrated reduction in symptoms without increases in fitness. Conclusion: All evidence for dose-response effects of physical activity and exercise come from B and C levels of evidence. There is little evidence for dose-response effects, though this is largely because of a lack of studies rather than a lack of evidence. A dose-response relation does, however, remain plausible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume33
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Anxiety
Depression
Randomized Controlled Trials
Observational Studies
Exercise
Resistance Training
Leisure Activities
Depressive Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
MEDLINE
Internet
Energy Metabolism
Consensus
Databases
Light
Population

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Efficacy
  • Exercise
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Physical activity
  • Review
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Physical activity dose-response effects on outcomes of depression and anxiety. / Dunn, A. L.; Trivedi, M. H.; O'Neal, H. A.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 33, No. 6 SUPPL., 2001.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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