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When people stop exercising, depressive symptoms increase
Sport is healthy for body and mind - there was a lot of truth in this statement. Researchers have now found that people who stop exercising are more depressed.
In their current research, the University of Adelaide scientists found that stopping sporting activities can cause us to develop depressive symptoms. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Affective Disorders".
Exercise is important for physical and mental health
"Adequate physical activity and exercise are important for physical and mental health," explains Julie Morgan of the University of Adelaide. For their research work, the scientists reviewed the results of previous studies, which examined the effects of regular active adults ceasing their sporting activities.
How much sporting activity is recommended per week?
Current guidelines on public health recommend that people should be physically active at least most days of the week, if possible all days. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week to maintain health and prevent depression. 75 minutes of intensive training can bring additional health benefits, add the doctors.
Regular exercise can reduce depression
“The extensive clinical evidence shows that regular training can reduce and treat depression. However, there is little research on what happens when training ends, ”Julie Morgan added in a press release.
152 subjects were examined closely
The reviewed studies looked more closely at the end of exercise in 152 adults. The participants had trained three times a week for a period of three months for at least 30 minutes. "In some cases, stopping this training resulted in significant increases in depressive symptoms after just three days," said Professor Bernhard Baune, director of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide. Other studies previously showed that people's depressive symptoms increased after the first week or two, which is still very fast after stopping the exercises. Depressive symptoms that result from the termination of the training occur in the absence of the typical biological markers, which are usually associated with depressive symptoms, explains Professor Baune.
Additional research is needed
The lack of research in this particular area indicates the need for further studies. In the future, it could be better understood how the cessation of sports activities influences depressive symptoms. Unfortunately, the number of subjects examined in the study was only relatively small, which is why the results should be checked by larger studies, adds Prof. Baune. For the time being, it is important that people understand the possible effects of sporting activity on their psychological well-being - including the consequences if they suddenly stop exercising regularly or do sport, the expert explains. (as)