Mental Health And Exercise
There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise is an effective component
of treatment for people living with acute and chronic mental illness. With
exercise making a big difference in mood and promoting a positive mental
health, whilst also helping to reduce the symptoms of mental illness, there
is a significant need for exercise to be a fundamental part of mental health
It’s important to remember that it’s not about what type of exercise is the
best kind, it’s about what works for the individual, and that doing something
is better than doing nothing at all. Even one workout a week is known to have
Physical inactivity is the cause of approximately 9% of premature mortality
worldwide, with people experiencing a mental illness being particularly vulnerable to
inactivity. The high risk of poor physical health in those with a serious mental illness
is acknowledged as one of the major reasons for high mortality rates. The relative
risk of death is estimated to be 2.2 times higher in people with mental disorders
compared to the general population and this is largely due to chronic physical
health problems rather than the mental health issues.
Results of the 2018 HUNT study highlighted that 12% of cases of depression could
have been prevented by just one hour of exercise a week.
Further research tells us that physical activity can then protect against developing
future mental disorders. A study in The American Journal of Psychiatry found
physical activity can protect against the emergence of depression, regardless of age
and geographical region.
Biokineticists’ work closely with psychologists and psychiatrists using exercise as a tool in the management of mental health.