Dallas Chiropractor Best Practices

Research Commentary;

Exercise for Depression

A review of

Björg Helgadóttir, Mats Hallgren, Örjan Ekblom, Yvonne Forsell, Training fast or slow? Exercise for depression: A randomized controlled trial, Preventive Medicine, Volume 91, 2016, Page 123-131, ISSN 0091-7435, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.08.011. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743516302171)

Reviewed by Dr. Justin Thompson

Exercise for Depression
Summarized Review of Conclusion

The results of this study display that exercise, regardless of the intensity, can be at least equally effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression compared to treatment as usual by a physician. This further solidifies the benefits of getting movement in, even if it is a ‘light’ or ‘easy’ exercise! This contributes to the exact message we want to spread in our clinics and beyond, that movement is life!


Quotes from the Article

“The purpose of this study was to examine dose-response relationships between exercise performed at three levels of intensity with similar frequency and duration, and post-treatment depression severity. Secondary aims were to examine the effects of exercise mode (yoga or similar versus aerobic conditioning) on depression severity, and to explore gender differences.”

“To our knowledge, this is the largest RCT examining the effects of exercise intensity on depression. The large participant sample, external randomization procedure, and blinded follow-up assessments are methodological strengths.”

The findings have clinical implications and support previous research (Williams, 2008) indicating that exercise can be prescribed for depression at different intensity levels depending on the individual characteristics of the patient.”


Introduction to the Research

The correlation between mental and physical health has been discussed in journals across the world. Anyone who has ever established a regular exercise routine can probably list their own benefits that are in alignment with the research, myself included. There has been less research examining the type, dosage, intensity, and frequency of exercise. This RCT is important because it shows that the movement does not matter as much as movement matters!


Research Methodology

This study was a single-blind, parallel randomized control trial lasting 12-weeks with participants ranging from 18-67 years old. Four treatment arms were included: treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 310), light exercise (yoga or similar n = 106), moderate exercise (aerobic conditioning, n = 105) and vigorous exercise (aerobic conditioning, n = 99). Depression severity was measured at baseline and post-treatment using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Differences between the groups in depression severity at post-treatment were analyzed using linear regression. Differences in exercise intensity were confirmed by heart rate monitoring.


Research Findings

At post-treatment, the light (− 4.05 Confidence Interval (CI) = − 5.94, − 2.17), moderate (− 2.08 CI = − 3.98, − 0.18) and vigorous exercise groups (− 3.13 CI = − 5.07, − 1.19) had reduced their MADRS scores significantly more than TAU. No significant differences were found between the exercise groups, and no significant interaction effect was observed between group and gender.



Research References

As always with these reviews, these are my takeaways from the article and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety. The references used in this article by the authors of this article are listed here.


Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our Dallas Chiropractors located in Lakewood, near the corner of Mockingbird Ln. and Abrams Rd., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diabetes and other diseases!