Being active reduces risk of depression in elderly

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has reported that having a more active life can reduce the risk of elderly people being diagnosed with depression .

The study included 17,500 elderly people from 11 European countries and had an average age of 64. The participants were surveyed for two and a half years in order to establish the association between physical activity levels and depression symptoms.

The researchers concluded that there is a ‘mutual influence’ between levels of depression and the amount of exercise included in day to day life. Elderly people who are active show fewer symptoms of depression, conversely those who were depressed tended to partake in less exercise.

It was also reported that the amount of physical activity that an elderly person completed on a daily basis was heavily dependent on the self-motivation and perceived competence of the person.

Exercise released endorphins the ‘feel good’ hormones, it doesn’t have to be strenuous and could be leisurely as a walk in the park or a relaxing Pilates class. Activities that promote strength, cardiovascular health and independence can not only have profound effects on physical well being but mental health too.

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