COMMENTARY

Exercise Training Reduces Anxiety

Peter Yellowlees, MBBS, MD

Disclosures

July 27, 2010

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This is the Medscape Psychiatry Minute. I'm Dr Peter Yellowlees. Exercise is commonly thought to be good for our mental health, but is it really? Now 3 investigators[1]from the University of Georgia have estimated the population effect size for exercise training effects on anxiety in 40 studies of 2914 sedentary patients with chronic anxiety. They found that, compared with no treatment conditions, exercise training did significantly reduce anxiety symptoms, especially if the training programs had session durations of at least 30 minutes, lasted no more than 12 weeks, and there was an anxiety report time frame greater than 1 week. The authors concluded that exercise training does reduce anxiety symptoms among sedentary patients who have a chronic illness. The message for physicians is clear -- encourage your anxious patients to exercise. This article is selected from Medscape Best Evidence. I'm Dr. Peter Yellowlees.

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