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Reduced risk of depression to 35 minutes per day

Current research findings suggest that sports should become more prominent in the prevention of depressive episodes. Even in patients at increased genetic risk, there are clearly positive effects.

Sport helps even with the increased risk factor

Current research findings suggest that sports should become more prominent in the prevention of depressive episodes. Even in patients at increased genetic risk, there are clearly positive effects.

The research team around Dr. Carmel Choi and her colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston evaluated electronic health data from nearly 8,000 study participants at Partners Biobank. For two years, scientists worked to collect data related to diagnosed depression. In addition, the research team identified a genetic risk factor for depression among all study participants.

For respondents at increased family risk, researchers found a higher likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of "depression" in the next two years. However, in the study participants who were physically active, the research team observed a lower incidence of depression, even in people with a higher risk factor.

Genes do not automatically predict depression

Even the subjects with the highest risk of genetic depression had a reduced risk of adequate exercise. Dr. Choi said, "Our findings show that genes do not automatically predict depression, and physical activity can counteract the future risk of depressive episodes in genetically challenged individuals."

She added: "Just 35 minutes of sports a day helps significantly reduce the risk of depression and protect against future depressive episodes." The researchers also found that four hours of exercise per week reduced the risk of further depressive episodes by as much as 17%. This included high-intensity exercise, such as aerobic exercise and equipment training, as well as moderate exercise, such as yoga or stretching.

Get better prevention strategies by evaluating health data

Dr. Jordan Smoller, senior author of the study, added: "So far, the options for preventing depression and other mental health conditions are quite limited, and our study emphasizes the importance of addressing health data to reduce the burden of such diseases."

Dr. Choi commented, "There are many factors that we believe can contribute to appropriate strategies for improving resilience and preventing depression, and the high prevalence of depression worldwide underscores the urgent need for appropriate strategies that will benefit as many people as possible."

source:
Choi KW et al., Compensation for physical activity. Reduce anxiety 2019; 1- 9. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22967