Faculty Sponsor

Jana Stedman, MS, PA-C




Physician Assistant Program

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-26-2023


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

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Taylor Gideon has a special interest in Behavioral Health and plans on working in Behavioral Health following graduation. She is a student member of professional organizations such as the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) as well as the Valparaiso University Physician Assistant Student Society (VUPASS). She will be presenting on “Managing Anxiety and Depression with Exercise” because she has a special interest in alternative treatment options that can be easily accessible.