A new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that contrary to widespread belief, combining exercise with conventional therapy is not beneficial in treating depression.
The study was conducted by researchers at Universities of Bristol and Exeter and Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and was funded by the NHS.
The researchers observed 361 patients between 18 to 69 years of age who had been diagnosed with depression and divided them into two groups, with one group receiving conventional treatment while the second group combined exercise with conventional treatment.
The researchers followed up on the patients after a period of 12 months and found that combining exercise with medical care did not alleviate depression symptoms any more than just medical care did.
"Numerous studies have reported the positive effects of physical activity for people suffering with depression but our intervention was not an effective strategy for reducing symptoms", University of Bristol's Melanie Chalder said.