Medication or Dedication?

by: Alexis Roe

Can we prevent depression by becoming more physically active? Recent studies suggest that physical activity is as beneficial as other forms of treatment (psychological and pharma-cological) for depression in older adults.

Current meta-analytic reviews show that physical activity reduces both clinical depression and the experience of a depressed mood. In a study of clinically depressed older adults, physical activity was found to be as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, psychodynamic therapy, and cognitive therapy for treating depression. Overall, research as a whole suggests that physical activity plays an anti-depressant role in older adults. However, the treatment of depression is just one benefit of exercising. For more information about exercise benefits, check out the infographic!



Chodzko-Zajko, W. (Ed). (2014). ACSM’s exercise for older adults. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Picture retrieved from:

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department