UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently presented a research from an Australian university and praised it for its insights on how to overcome depression. The study reveals the significant benefits of exercise in combating this debilitating condition.
Comedian Russell Brand joined Rogan on his episode 1949 podcast for a discussion on physical fitness and health. In the episode, Rogan presented a study from the University of South Australia that demonstrated the superiority of exercise over therapy and medicine for treating depression.
According to the research which was released in February, exercise was 1.5 times more beneficial than counselling or prescription medication. Published in February, the study examined 97 studies, 1039 trials, and a staggering 128,000 participants. The university stated the study to be “the most comprehensive review (on the topic) to date.”
During the podcast episode, Joe Rogan highlighted the study’s significance. While acknowledging that he cannot claim to understand the cause of anyone else’s depression, Rogan proposed that a lack of physical activity may contribute to its development.
Rogan stated: “Of course it is. I don’t want to say the cause of anyone else’s depression because there’s no way I can know. But probably a lot of people are depressed because they aren’t moving. I really think it’s a physical requirement.”
“There are some universal requirements [for the human body] and movement is one of them. If you can move, if you are privileged enough — you’re not injured, you’re not disabled, and you can move — God I really think you should move.”
“Just walk around the block. Just f***ing do something.”
It is important to note that the study did not aim to uncover the root causes of depression among its participants. Instead, it focused on investigating the positive effects of physical activity on various clinical populations.
The researchers found that individuals with depression, pregnant and post-partum women, healthy individuals, and those diagnosed with HIV or kidney disease experienced the most significant benefits from engaging in regular exercise.
Lead researcher Ben Singh emphasized the need for physical activity to be prioritized in managing the growing number of individuals with mental health conditions. He stressed that despite ample evidence supporting the link between physical activity and improved mental health, it has not been widely adopted as a first-choice treatment.
Singh stated in an interview, “Physical activity is known to help improve mental health. Yet despite the evidence, it has not been widely adopted as a first-choice treatment.”
“Our review shows that physical activity interventions can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in all clinical populations, with some groups showing even greater signs of improvement.”
Dr. Singh also provided insights into the optimal approach to exercise for mental health benefits. The study highlighted that higher intensity exercise demonstrated greater improvements in depression and anxiety. Additionally, shorter and mid-duration bursts of exercise yielded more substantial effects compared to longer durations.
He added: “We also found that all types of physical activity and exercise were beneficial, including aerobic exercise such as walking, resistance training, pilates, and yoga.”
“Importantly, the research shows that it doesn’t take much for exercise to make a positive change to your mental health.”
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