If you’re blue, but not into treatments that require a prescription, hit the gym. In a recent study of 202 depressed adults, researchers found that those who participated in “group-based exercise therapy” showed the same results as those treated with antidepressants, while those who exercised at home showed slightly less improvement, and those who were given a placebo pill remained depressed.
The difference between this study and past ones is the presence of the placebo group, which addresses criticism that the very act of therapy was positively affecting depression studies. After 16 weeks of treatment, 47 percent of those given antidepressant and 45 percent of those who exercised in a group setting were no longer diagnosed as depressed. (We’re not sure if “group-based” and “group setting” mean taking a class, or running on a treadmill surrounded by other exercisers.)
For home exercisers, the number was 40 percent; for the placebo group, 31 percent.
[Update: as some of our readers have pointed out, don’t look to The Consumerist for medical advice! If you’re suffering from depression, seek professional medical assistance. kthx]
“Exercise on par with drugs for aiding depression” [Reuters]