The Effects of Exercise on Mental Health

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Some hypothesize that moderate levels of exercise will decrease the symptoms of mental health conditions (Blumenthal et al., 2007; Diaz & Motta, 2008; Motta, Kuligowski, & Marino, 2010; Rosenbaum, Nguyen, Lenehan, Tiedemann, van der Ploeg, & Sherrington, 2011) and therefore be used as an alternative or complimentary treatment option for mental health (Libby, Pilver, & Desai, 2012). While the research of Blumenthal et al. (2007) focused on exercise being effective in reducing self-reported depressive symptoms, Diaz and Motta (2008) and Motta, Kuligowski, and Marino (2010) looked at the positive effects of exercise on depression, anxiety and PTSD. The theory of exercise’s positive effect on mental health has heavily been focused on depression and anxiety, but PTSD is becoming a newer area of research as it contains not only depressive and anxiety based symptoms as well as other symptoms. Libby, Pilver, and Desai (2012) and Blumenthal focused their studies specifically on PTSD. Blumenthal et al. (2007) and Diaz and Motta (2008) conducted empirical studies to prove their hypotheses about the relationship of exercise and mental health. Blumenthal et al. looked at a sample size of 202 adults over the age of 40 and randomly assigned them to one of four groups: (a) group exercise setting, (b) home based exercise group, (c) sertraline group, or (d) placebo group. The participants who were assigned to the exercise groups participated in a 16 week moderate exercise program. The other two groups either received sertraline or a placebo pill. All participants were assessed before, during, and after using the Becks Depression Inventory II [BDI] (Beck, Sheer, & Brown, 1996) and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HAM-D] (Williams, 19... ... middle of paper ... ...ce online publication. doi:10.1037/a0027082 March, J. S., (1997). Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children: Technical manual. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi Health Systems, Inc. Motta, R. W., Kuligowski, J. M., & Marino, D. M. (2010). The role of exercise in reducing childhood and adolescent PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Communique, 38(6), 24-26. Retrieved from Rosenbaum, S., Nguyen, D., Lenehan, T., Tiedemann, A., van der Ploeg, H. P., & Sherrington, C. (2011). Exercise augmentation compared to usual care for post traumatic stress disorder: A randomised controlled trial (the REAP study: Randomised exercise augmentation for PTSD). BMC Psychiatry, 11, 115. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-115 Williams, J. B. (1988) A structured interview guide for the Hamilton depression rating scale. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 45, 742-747.

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