Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Students who exercise are less prone to depression and anxiety
It is surprising, however, that there has been very little research into the potential benefits of physical activity on a cohort of individuals who are at risk of mental health problems, namely university students.
In these uncertain economic times, with increasing tuition fees, university students are at higher risk of suffering from mental health problems.
Therefore, we examined 100 undergraduate university students from the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire and used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Physical Activity Questionnaire, to determine the relationship between anxiety /depression and physical exercise. We published our results in the Journal of Mental Health.
Treating our cohort as a whole, we found that as physical activity levels increased, self-reported levels of anxiety and depression both significantly decreased. Our findings contribute to the growing body of literature demonstrating the positive effects of physical activity on mental health.
Although, there is still work to be done in this field, our conclusions should be of interest to students wishing to maintain and promote their mental health at university and for universities wishing to safeguard their students’ emotional well-being through the promotion of physical exercise.