Jana Stedman, MS, PA-C
Physician Assistant Program
Objective: There are increasingly high rates of depression and anxiety worldwide. Current treatment often consists of psychotherapy and antidepressants which have adverse effects, high costs, and interactions with other medications. Exercise has been proposed as an option for stand-alone treatment of mental illnesses. Methods: Google Scholar and EBSCO host were used to search for peer-reviewed articles published within the last 5 years to examine how exercise can be an option for management of anxiety and depression. A total of 36 articles were reviewed and 11 articles were utilized in this research, including 5 meta-analyses, 3 systematic reviews, 2 randomized controlled trials, and 1 quasi-experimental review. Primary endpoints for this research would include anxiety and depression scores, such as Beck’s Depression and Anxiety Inventories and DASS-21. Results: Exercise has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, regardless of the type of physical activity. Conclusions: Although there may be some contradicting data, exercise appears to be a noninferior treatment option and can be recommended for management of anxiety and depression given the encouraging data for this indication.
Keywords: anxiety, depression, mental health, physical activity, exercise, management, treatment
Gideon, Taylor, "Managing Anxiety and Depression with Exercise" (2023). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 159.