We have all heard about the benefits of going for a brisk stroll in the sunshine and how it can boost our moods. But taking time to go for a walk could also play an important role in treating depression, according to Scottish researchers.
A study in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity shows that walking has a ‘large effect’ on depression.
A common disorder worldwide, one in ten people may experience depression in their lifetime. While more severe cases are treated with medication, physical activity is usually recommended for those suffering mild symptoms.
Researchers at the University of Stirling, Scotland, systematically searched several databases for controlled trials of walking as a treatment intervention for depression, of which eight studies fitted the bill.
Speaking about the results they said: ‘Walking has the advantages of being easily undertaken by most people, incurring little or no financial cost and being relatively easy to incorporate into daily living.’
While this provides positive insight into the effects of walking, the researchers did however caution that much more research is needed as there are still questions over how long, how fast and whether the walking should take place indoors or outdoors.
Do you regularly go for walks? How do you find walking affects you mood?