Background: Two of the most concerned mental health problems in our society are depression and anxiety. Anxiety and depression can often occur together, it is therefore important to know the signs and symptoms associated with them.
Objective: To determine the role of physical activity and exercise in depression and anxiety disorders.
Methodology: It was a study in which data was collected fromPsychiatry Department of Jinnah Hospital. Research data was recorded by using prescribed validated questionnaire, psychological measurement tool Beck Depression Inventory-II. Patients were divided in two groups. First group took medication only and the other was provided with medication and physical activity plan. A baseline measurement was taken and then a follow up after 4 weeks was done and the difference in the scores was noted down in both groups.
Results: The decrease in the scores of BDI-II was significantly higher in group who took medication with exercises as compared to group who were treated with medication only. The decrease of depression in group treated with medication and exercises significant at P=0.019 level showing that exercises with medication is more effective than only medication. The percentage of patients with mild depression post treatment was 40% in physical activity group as compared to 52% in medication group while percentage of patients with no depression in physical activity group was 48% as compared to 18% in medication group which is significantly higher.
After the follow up of four weeks it was noted that the second group in which patients were treated with medication and physical activity was better relieved from depression signs and symptoms than the patients who were treated with medication only. So, physical activity that is organized and structured can be incorporated as an effective strategy for the treatment of depression.