Mental health can be improved with 45 minutes of exercise, says study
Poor mental health can be improved by 45 minutes of physical activity three to five times a week, according to new study.
The research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal, tracked the emotional wellbeing of 1.2 million people over a month by getting them to record their activity levels and rate their mental health.
It found that those who exercised had 1.5 fewer “bad days” a month than those who didn’t.
All types of activity appeared to improve mental health, despite age or gender, although team sports, cycling and aerobics had the greatest positive impact, the report found,
For people who had been diagnosed with depression, regular exercise made the most difference with an average of seven days of poor mental health, instead of 11 for those who did no exercise.
How often people were active for also proved important, with exercise performed for 30 to 60 minutes every second day the optimal routine, research discovered.
But there could be such thing as too much exercise, as study author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, Dr Adam Chekroud, said:
"Previously, people have believed that the more exercise you do, the better your mental health, but our study suggests that this is not the case.
"Doing exercise more than 23 times a month, or exercising for longer than 90-minute sessions is associated with worse mental health."