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In a recent April 2022 study published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, researchers studied the association between physical activity and the risk of depression. Mental health has been a hot topic during the COVID pandemic and has led to a lot more emphasis on the importance of mental health. Depression is the most common mental health problem. It affects approximately 280 million people around the world.

The researchers did an analysis of 15 studies with over 190,000 participants and found that even small amounts of exercise can help fight depression. Adults who did at least 2.5 hours a week of brisk walking or equivalent had a decreased risk of depression compared to adults who did not exercise at all. The authors wrote, “1 in 9 cases of depression might have been prevented if everybody in the population was active at the current health recommendations.”

Another recent 2022 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded that muscle-strengthening exercise decreases the risk of death and disease. Researchers found that muscle strengthening exercise was linked with a 10% to 17% decreased risk of death, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and diabetes.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity. The CDC website encourages people to sit less and move more on a daily basis. Getting a small amount of exercise is better than nothing and will give health benefits. Some benefits of physical activity include weight management, decreasing health risks, strengthening bones and muscles, preventing falls, improving functional abilities, and increasing your chances of living longer. According to the CDC, exercise promotes physical and mental health and is one of the best things you can do for your health.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, March 17). How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 16, 2022

Momma H, Kawakami R, Honda T, et al Muscle-strengthening activities are associated with lower risk and mortality in major non-communicable diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 28 February 2022. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105061

Pearce M, Garcia L, Abbas A, et al. Association Between Physical Activity and Risk of Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis