Students Walking

A simple walk introduces some amount of exertion in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle of most people. Scientists from the University of Stirling and Edinburgh have shown how walking can reduce depressive symptoms in people.

For the trial, nearly 341 patients spanning across 8 studies were observed. As per the outcomes, walking seemed to alleviate the effects of depression significantly. Not many of us know that many professionals recommend exercise for depression patients.

While physical activity is included in various therapies for medical conditions, nothing much has been talked about its influence on mental health. While depression is generally treated by anti-depressants, it’s not advisable in some cases owing to the side effects of the same.

“There are some good examples already of community-based walking programmes such as CHANGES in East Lothian. People working in primary care have a limited range of options as to what they can offer people with depression and treatments such as anti-depressants aren’t always effective and come with potential side-effects,” commented PhD student Roma Robertson of The University of Stirling.

Walking is something people do unwittingly and could therefore be a simple alternative to energize the body and relieve it of those blues. Presently, the team is probing into the pace, duration and frequency of walks required for substantial improvement in the symptoms.

Further studies to understand the impact of walking in depression are underway. The report is published in the recent issue of the journal, Mental Health and Physical Activity.