Lack of motivation is a common barrier to taking on a physical activity programme and a key presentation of depression. Evidence in depressed patients is limited, however studies exist evidencing the increased sense of enjoyment with running and walking1,18,19.
Quality of evidence
Strength of recommendation
There is limited evidence in depression, but moderate evidence in general population studies that physical activity improves social outcomes. The expert group re-iterated the participation in group activities is only recommended if it is the individual’s choice.
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- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Rosenbaum S, et al. Exercise for depression in older adults: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials adjusting for publication bias. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2016;38(3):247-254.
- de Souza Moura AM, Lamego MK, Paes F, et al. Comparison Among Aerobic Exercise and Other Types of Interventions to Treat Depression: A Systematic Review. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;14(9):1171-1183.
- Nyström MB, Neely G, Hassmén P, Carlbring P. Treating Major Depression with Physical Activity: A Systematic Overview with Recommendations. Cogn Behav Ther. 2015;44(4):341-352.
- Wegner M, Helmich I, Machado S, Nardi AE, Arias-Carrion O, Budde H. Effects of exercise on anxiety and depression disorders: review of meta- analyses and neurobiological mechanisms. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(6):1002-1014.
- Rosenbaum S, Tiedemann A, Sherrington C, Curtis J, Ward PB. Physical activity interventions for people with mental illness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014;75(9):964-974.
- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Richards J, Rosenbaum S, Ward PB, Stubbs B. Exercise as a treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. J Psychiatr Res. 2016;77:42-51.
- Schuch FB, Vancampfort D, Rosenbaum S, Richards J, Ward PB, Stubbs B. Exercise improves physical and psychological quality of life in people with depression: A meta-analysis including the evaluation of control group response. Psychiatry Res. 2016;241:47-54.
- Puetz TW. Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: epidemiological evidence. Sports Med. 2006;36(9):767-780.
- Brené S, Bjørnebekk A, Aberg E, Mathé AA, Olson L, Werme M. Running is rewarding and antidepressive. Physiol Behav. 2007;92(1-2):136-140.
- Leventhal AM. Relations between anhedonia and physical activity. Am J Health Behav. 2012;36(6):860-872.
- Yeh SH, Lin LW, Chuang YK, et al. Effects of music aerobic exercise on depression and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in community dwelling women. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:135893.
- Greer TL, Grannemann BD, Chansard M, Karim AI, Trivedi MH. Dose-dependent changes in cognitive function with exercise augmentation for major depression: results from the TREAD study. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015;25(2):248-256.
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