What is the link between depression and activity?

Updated: Mar 11, 2019

A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry has shown that there is a protective relationship between exercise and developing a major depressive state.

People who performed at least 15 minutes of vigorous activity had a 26% reduction in risk of developing depression.

jogging activity for fitness and health
getting active reduces risk of depression

The converse is also true. That people suffering with depression are less active. This could be due to social factors as well as genetics. So what is the answer?


The consensus is that exercise is beneficial for both the prevention of, and management of depression.

But when you are in a depressed state, finding the motivation to start an exercise program can be very difficult (if not almost impossible) to do on your own.

This is the time to call on professional support. Speak to your doctor about a referral to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, who can help devise a graded activity plan, and keep you on track and motivated.

Remember, 'exercise' does not always equal 'gym', so don't worry if you don't like the gym. They are experts in designing a program that fits in with your lifestyle, and will keep you motivated.

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