Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Exercise and Depression
Age-related declines in exercise are associated with depression
Many studies have shown that exercise is related to mental health. Few studies, however, have looked at whether exercise is related to mental health among older people, and those that have had a number problems that made interpretations of the results difficult. Researchers in Finland recently reported the findings from a study investigating the association between depression and exercise as people age.
What was the research about?
Six hundred and sixty-three people who were involved with the Evergreen Project participated in the study. The Evergreen Project is a large-scale study on health-related issues among the 65-year-old or older residents of a city in Finland. The participants were interviewed in their homes in 1988 and 1996. Among other things, the interviews gathered information about exercise intensity (e.g., necessary chores, regular walking, strenuous exercise) and depressive symptoms.
The results showed that participants who engaged in less intense exercise as they aged tended to suffer from more depressive symptoms over time. Participants for whom exercise intensity increased or did not change as they aged did not tend to suffer from more depressive symptoms over time.
Why should it matter to me?
Older people may want to make an effort to keep the intensity of their exercise from declining over time because doing so may decrease their risk for depression.
Source: Lampinen, P., Heikkinen, R.-L., & Ruoppila, I. (2000). Changes in intensity of physical exercise as predictors of depressive symptoms among older adults: An eight-year follow-up. Preventive Medicine, 30,371-380.