Addiction Policy Forum Blog

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Physical Activity May Reduce Risk of Depression

By Mark Gold, MD on March 14, 2019

As depression becomes a leading cause of disability worldwide, it is even more imperative to focus upon effective preventative measures. Findings from a recent study strengthen the empirical support, and provide the most compelling case yet, for physical activity as an effective prevention strategy for depression. Read further to find out more on how physical activity can influence risk of depression and how this can shape the future of depression prevention and treatment.

Exercise is known to be effective stress relief - higher levels of physical activity can potentially inhibit the risk of developing mental illness. As building evidence further fortifies this theory, a new study by the research team at Harvard Medical School, led by Karmel W. Choi, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital, has discovered that robust physical activity is an effective treatment for depression.

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