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Good condition reduces the risk of depression. But researchers find no link between fitness and anxiety.

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Keeping in good shape can also be important for mental health, shows a new study from NTNU.

- If you are in good condition, there is a lower risk that you have depressive symptoms, states Linda Ernstsen.

The findings are based on results taken from the Health Survey in Nord-Trøndelag (HUNT). writes:

Those with moderate and good condition initially had a 21 and 26 percent lower chance of having depressive symptoms, respectively, than those with poor condition.

Similar findings were not made in relation to anxiety - where the physical form seemed to be less important.

The article discusses how to understand the findings of this new study. That is: Is it good fitness that counteracts depressive symptoms, or do people with depressive symptoms have a harder time getting started and staying in good shape? The study has no clear answer to this. 

However, Linda Ernstsen tells 

- In any case, it is probably right when doctors recommend people with depressive symptoms to get out more and get better condition.



  • Less depression in people in good shape.
  • Shigdel, R., Stubbs, B., Sui, X., & Ernstsen, L. (2019). Cross-sectional and longitudinal association of non-exercise estimated cardiorespiratory fitness with depression and anxiety in the general population: The HUNT study. Journal of affective disorders252, 122-129.

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