Exercise vs. Anxiety/Depression: Is exercise a beneficial remedy?

By: Kayla Rogers

Edited By: Breion Young

In today’s time, anxiety/depression effects merely 121 million people worldwide, and yet only about 25% of individuals seek help/ treatment  (Donaghy, 2007). In many cases, a lack of education on mental health, plays a role in the decision to not seek help. Also, the overall lack of treatment remedies and the availability of prescription medication may lessen the amount of people pursuing help from other resources

Does exercise really make a difference in your mental health? Several studies have shown that those who partake in exercise regularly, are 25% less likely to experience anxiety and depression over the next five years (Exercise for Stress and Anxiety, July 2014). They have also shown, that exercise can decrees or eliminate some depressive symptoms to a greater extent than some medications, due to certain chemicals released during exercise that act as painkillers. Even though exercise/physical activity has been shown to be beneficial, it may not have the same positive effect on everyone. Although, more research needs to be done, there is still a good amount of evidence that suggests exercises helps increase psychological well-being and coping skills, leading to a possible overall decrease in depressive symptoms.

So, there you have it, don’t just workout for your physical health, but do so for your mental health as well!


Donaghy, M. E. (2007). Exercise can Seriously improve your mental health: Fact or Fiction? Advances in Physiotherapy, 76-88.

Received from: Michael W. Otto, PhD, and Jasper A.J. Smits, PhD.  Oxford University Press, 2011 Exercise for Stress and Anxiety,         https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety.   Updated: July 2014

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department