Exercise reduces signs of mental health disorders

People who exercise may experience symptoms of mental health disorders less often, a US study suggests. That may be true even when the exercise is doing household chores, researchers have found.

The study team examined survey data collected from more than 1.2 million American adults.

Participants were asked how often in the past month they had exercised, aside from physical activity at work.

They were also asked how many days their mental health was "not good" due to stress, depression and problems with emotions.

Overall, people reported an average of 3.4 days of poor mental health each month, according to the results in The Lancet Psychiatry.


Compared to people who never exercised, those who did some physical activity outside of work had an average 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health each month.

"People who exercise have better mental health than those who do not, especially people who are exercising three to five times a week, for around 45 minutes," said senior study author Adam Chekroud, a psychiatry researcher at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

"This study reiterates the broad range of health benefits for exercising, no matter your age, race, sex, income or physical health status."

Some of the strongest benefits were associated with team sports and cycling, followed by aerobic and gym exercises. - REUTERS