This Week In The Bmj

Effectiveness of exercise in managing depression is not shown by meta-analysis

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 31 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:c

An increasing body of literature claims that exercise is beneficial in the management of depression. A systematic review and meta-regression analysis of randomised controlled trials by Lawlor and Hopker (p 763) shows that exercise may be efficacious in managing depressive symptoms in the short term but that the trials are of poor quality and were mostly done in non-clinical volunteers. Better quality research in this area is needed before the effectiveness of exercise in clinical populations can be determined.