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Exercise for Depression

Major depression is a prevalent disorder that constitutes a major public health problem. Despite their efficacy, established pharmacological and psychosocial interventions fall short for many individuals, thus calling for the development of novel stand-alone or augmentation treatments. This entry briefly reviews the rationale for exercise as an intervention for depression, its efficacy, and directions for future research.

Rationale for Exercise

Experimental and observational studies substantiate the mood-boosting effects of exercise. For example, active individuals have been shown to be happier and are less anxious and report lower cynical distrust and feel more connected than their sedentary counterparts. Likewise, engaging in exercise can yield the positive mood states and enhancements in cognitive capacity similar to those observed with the administration of pharmacological agents used in the treatment of ...

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