Physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness reduce anxiety, panic, depressive symptoms
Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness seem to reduce the odds of generalized anxiety, panic and depressive symptoms, a recent cross-sectional study has shown. In contrast, muscle strengthening activities exert no effects on these symptoms.
Males in the top tertile of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) had significantly lower chances of having generalized anxiety, panic and depressive symptoms, determined either through the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) or through self-assessments (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.68; 95 percent CI, 0.48 to 0.96; p=0.02), than those in the bottom tier.
Females in the top MVPA tertile also had lower chances of manifesting the said symptoms than those in the bottom tertile (adjusted OR, 0.54; 0.29 to 1.02; p=0.05).
Compared with participants who had low fitness, those with high cardiorespiratory fitness had significantly lower odds of self-reported or CIDI-determined symptoms of general anxiety, panic and depression (adjusted OR, 0.60; 0.39 to 0.92; p=0.02) after adjusting or age, sex, ethnicity and other potential confounders.
In contrast, meeting the muscle strengthening guideline showed no significant associations with generalized anxiety, panic and depressive symptoms even after adjusting for potential confounders such as aerobic physical activities.
Taking all three variables into consideration, a dose-dependent association between the composite variable and CIDI-determined generalized anxiety, panic and depressive symptoms was observed.
Specifically, individuals who met the guidelines of one (OR, 0.61; 0.29 to 1.31; p=0.20), two (OR, 0.46; 0.19 to 1.11; p=0.08) or three (OR, 0.29; 0.10 to 0.77; p=0.01) of the above parameters had lower odds of manifesting the symptoms compared with those who fulfilled none of the guideline values.