What is the role of physical exercise in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

A meta-analysis of the therapeutic effect of physical exercise in depressed individuals revealed a short-term (≤16 wk) small positive effect on depression scores, but no long-term benefit was shown. [163] The authors felt that the evidence did not support the use of exercise for long-term benefits in clinically depressed individuals. The limited available evidence does not support using physical exercise as an “antidepressant.”


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