Effects of exercise on anxiety and depression disorders: Review of meta-analyses and neurobiological mechanisms

Wegner, Mirko; Helmich, Ingo; Machado, Sergio; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Budde, Henning (2014). Effects of exercise on anxiety and depression disorders: Review of meta-analyses and neurobiological mechanisms. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets, 13(6), pp. 1002-1014. Bentham Science Publishers 10.2174/1871527313666140612102841

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Anxiety and depression are the most frequently diagnosed psychological diseases showing a high co-morbidity. They have a severe impact on the lives of the persons concerned. Many meta-analytical studies suggested a positive anxiolytic and depression reducing effect of exercise programs. The aim of the present article is to synthesize metaanalyses on the effects of exercise on anxiety and depression and to describe average effect sizes. For this purpose 37 meta-analyses were included reporting 50 effect sizes for anxiety scores of 42,264 participants and depression scores of 48,207 persons. The average documented anxiolytic effect of exercise in these reviews was small, 0.34. In contrast, the effect of exercise on depression was significantly higher and at a moderate level, 0.56. Data of randomized controlled trials suggest higher sizes for the effect of exercise on anxiety and depression leading to increases up to moderate and large effects, respectively. Additionally, exercise seems to be more beneficial for patients compared to participants within a nonclinical, normal range of psychological disease. Especially for the effect of exercise on anxiety, more high quality meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials are needed. Finally, possible neurobiological explanations are suggested for the positive effect of exercise on psychological disorders like anxiety and depression.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science I

UniBE Contributor:

Wegner, Mirko

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment

ISSN:

1871-5273

Publisher:

Bentham Science Publishers

Language:

English

Submitter:

Mirko Wegner

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2015 11:28

Last Modified:

21 May 2015 14:09

Publisher DOI:

10.2174/1871527313666140612102841

Additional Information:

Formerly: Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Anxiety, depression, exercise, meta-analysis, mood, neurobiology

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.48824

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/48824

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