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Depression reduced with regular exercise

18th June 2014

An ageing population will affect the whole globe and healthcare officials are acutely aware of healthcare costs also rising.

Mental HealthCurrently one sixth of the UK population is aged over 65. Pensions for this age group make up one seventh of all public expenditure - a figure that especially affects the NHS.

As this life expectancy grows, advances in healthcare need to be promoted in order to prevent a huge rise in bills.

Older adults

For those aged over 65, depression can be a result of disability brought on by age, prolonged hospital stays and poorer healthcare outcomes, as well as other reasons.

It has been suggested a simple exercise program for older adults could be effective in reducing depressive symptoms, but there have been a mixture of results published.

Researchers from North Korea looked at the issue once more to see, specifically, whether exercise was beneficial in reducing depression and improving quality of life in adults over the age of 65.

Results

They performed a meta-analysis of depression levels in older adults, in studies over the past 14 years.

They found depression was lower in groups who had exercised at three, six and 12 months.

Exercise was said to improve quality of life and in two studies that assessed self-esteem, it was found the group who exercised also benefited.

The evidence supported the overall positive link and was enough to justify more research - to explore the relationship further; however, there were criticisms of the quality of the met-analysis.

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