Intended for healthcare professionals


Exercise for depression . . . and other stories

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 21 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1170

Physical activity protects against depression

High levels of physical activity are linked to reduced risk of depression. The question is whether exercise has a direct protective effect or if the link simply reflects the fact that depressed people are less inclined to exert themselves. A mendelian randomisation study using a genetic instrumental variable derived from genome wide association studies and a measure of individual activity obtained from accelerometer recordings suggests that the relation is causal and that exercise does reduce risk of depressive illness (JAMA Psych doi: …

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