The association between physical activity and depressive symptoms in young women : a review

Azar, Denise, Ball, Kylie, Salmon, Jo and Cleland, Verity 2008, The association between physical activity and depressive symptoms in young women : a review, Mental health and physical activity, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 82-88.

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Title The association between physical activity and depressive symptoms in young women : a review
Author(s) Azar, Denise
Ball, Kylie
Salmon, Jo
Cleland, Verity
Journal name Mental health and physical activity
Volume number 1
Issue number 2
Start page 82
End page 88
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier BV
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2008-12
ISSN 1755-2966
Keyword(s) depression
exercise
mental health
physical activity
women
young adults
Summary Objective : This review synthesises results of studies examining the association between physical activity (PA) and depressive symptoms and the effects of PA intervention studies on depression among young women.
Methods : A search of electronic databases and bibliographic searches of observational and intervention studies was conducted that included women between the ages of 18 and 35.
Results : A total of eight observational and five intervention studies were identified. Evidence from observational studies indicated that physical activity was inversely associated with depressive symptoms in young women. Even a small amount of physical activity was found to be associated with reduced depressive symptoms. No clear dose–response relationship was shown. Evidence from intervention studies indicated that physical activity reduced depressive symptoms. Direct study comparisons were difficult due to variations in study methods and measures. The studies provided little or no information on understanding dose–response effects or on the mechanisms involved.
Conclusion : The limited number of studies examining physical activity and depressive symptoms in young women and the methodological problems identified in a number of these studies, make it difficult to draw firm conclusions. However, this review suggests that engaging in even low levels of physical activity may be protective against depressive symptoms in young women. There is a need for objective measures of physical activity in future studies, particularly with a focus on those with clinical depression in non-student populations.
Language eng
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920205 Health Education and Promotion
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Elsevier B.V.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017793

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