eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 12
Review paper

Effectiveness of differentiated physical activity for the therapy of depression: a review

Tomasz Adam Gąsiewski

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2017; 12, 2: 65–72
Online publish date: 2017/10/12
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In various forms, depressive disorders may affect over 300 million people worldwide. Physical activity has been studied as a form of therapy for depression for many decades, with generally promising results as either a cost-effective therapy for mild to moderate depression or as an addition to conventional therapies for MDD (major depressive disorder). However, the mechanisms of how regular exercise may alleviate the symptoms of depression are poorly understood. Because structured and regular physical activity is already recommended to professionals as a useful tool of extending typical therapies, there is a growing need for data about what kinds of exercise would be of most benefit to individuals suffering from depression. The current state of knowledge remains inconclusive about many characteristics of the exercise therapy. Proposed therapies lack clear evidence that would suggest the effectiveness of a particular training regimen for remission of depressive symptoms. Among the main problems are differences among used therapies, diverse types of control groups, and variability of applied measures of the symptoms of depressive disorders. However, there is growing evidence suggesting that not the type nor the mode of exercise, but its caloric expenditure measured weekly in kcal and maintaining workout regularity may be the most important factors that should be taken into account when planning a structured antidepressant exercise therapy.

physical activity, depression, exercise, therapy

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