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Exercise and physical activity in mental disorders.

19:58 EDT 24th April 2014 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Exercise and physical activity in mental disorders."

Exercise (EX) and physical activity (PA) have been shown to prevent or delay the onset of several mental disorders and to have therapeutic effects in different groups of psychiatric disorders. This review focuses on studies investigating EX as therapeutic intervention in anxiety disorders, affective disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders. Despite EX being discussed as a potential therapy for several decades, adequately powered randomized, controlled trials are sparse in most disorder groups. Nevertheless, evidence points toward disorder-specific benefits that can be induced by EX/PA. Mechanisms of the therapeutic effects of EX/PA are summarized, including metabolic and physiological as well as psychological aspects. Finally, implications for research and therapeutic practice are illustrated.


Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Charitéplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany,

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience
ISSN: 1433-8491


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Controlled physical activity, more strenuous than at rest, which is performed in order to allow assessment of physiological functions, particularly cardiovascular and pulmonary, but also aerobic capacity. Maximal (most intense) exercise is usually required but submaximal exercise is also used. The intensity of exercise is often graded, using criteria such as rate of work done, oxygen consumption, and heart rate.

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