Physical activity and moving more for health

Non-communicable diseases are a leading cause of death and levels are rising. Lifestyle changes, including physical activity, have benefits in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, respiratory conditions and cognitive and mental health. In some cancers, particularly colon, prostate and breast, physical activity improves quality of life and outcomes before, during and after treatment. Sedentary time is an independent risk factor with adverse effects in hospitalised patients.

Should practitioners promote physical activity as a treatment for depression?

For many years, experts have been debating the pros and cons of exercise for depression. Proponents of exercise for depression point to those clinical trials which have shown that exercise improves mood, while sceptics point out the methodological problems in many of the apparently positive trials, and the uncertainties around the acceptability of exercise as a treatment for depression.