Prone to depression? Get on an exercise bike and ride away from your stresses,says a study.
Researchers have found that people who take part in regular exercises could almost halve their risk of depression — but the boost to mental health works only if the activity is undertaken during leisure time and is fun.
According to lead researcher Dr Samuel Harvey of King’s College London workout reduces stress and should be more widely prescribed as a treatment to tackle depressive or anxiety disorders,the ‘Daily Express’ reported.
The researchers found that the more people engaged in physical activity the less likely they were to be depressed. Those who’re not active in their spare time were almost twice as likely to have symptoms of depression.
The intensity of the exercise didn’t seem to make any difference. Even people who took light exercise,without breaking into a sweat or getting out of breath,were less likely to show symptoms of depression.
The researchers,who looked at a research of more than 40,000 Norwegians,published his findings in the ‘British Journal of Psychiatry’.
Harvey said “We also found that the context in which activity takes place is vital. The social benefits associated with exercise,such ass increased numbers of friends and social support,are more important in understanding how exercise is linked to improved mental health than markers of fitness.
“This may explain why leisure activity appears to have benefits not seen with physical activity undertaken as part of a working day. It is not just a question of getting your heart rate up. There is something else going on here.
“Some studies have shown chemical changes that go on in the body are similar to those caused by taking anti-depressants. Some people even think exercise should be prescribed as a treatment for depression.”
His team,along with colleagues from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Bergen in Norway,found no such relationship between workplace activity and symptoms of depression. They didn’t find any consistent relationship between physical activity and anxiety.