Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionExercise

Limits of the benefits of exercise on depression

Researchers at Bispebjerg University Hospital, in Denmark, looked for long-term benefits of exercise in adults with clinical depression.

First, the details.

  • 13 studies were included in the review and meta-analysis.

And, the results.

  • Greater exercise was associated with significantly shorter duration and less severe depression.
  • Pooling the data from 5 studies with long-term follow-up (beyond the end of the study) suggested no long-term benefit.
  • Only 3 studies were assessed as high quality (adequately concealed random allocation, blinded outcome assessment, and intention-to-treat analysis).
  • Pooled results from these studies revealed that the estimated beneficial effect of exercise was modest compared to the pooled result for all 13 studies, with no strong evidence of benefit.

The bottom line?

Sort-term benefit, yes.

However, the authors concluded, “There is little evidence of a long-term beneficial effect of exercise in patients with clinical depression.”

Exercise is beneficial as long as you keep at it. More on the benefits of exercise is here.

11/27/10 18:09 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.