The results of recent studies show that those who engage in regular exercise have their Risk of developing anxiety Almost 60 percent.
This study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Quick online search on how to improve us mental health In many cases, there are countless different results.However, one of the most common suggestions is Steps to achieve good health -And to prevent future problems-whether it’s a walk or a team sport, you’re doing some exercise.
Anxiety disorder It usually develops early in a person’s life, but is estimated to affect about 10% of the world’s population and has been found to be twice as common in women as in men.And although exercise has been advocated as a promising strategy for treatment anxietyLittle is known about the effects of physical activity, intensity, or fitness level on the risk of developing anxiety disorders.
To answer this question, Swedish researchers say that those who participated in the world’s largest long-distance cross-country ski race (Vasaloppet) between 1989 and 2010 are at risk of feeling more anxious than those who do not ski. Showed to be “significantly low”. At the same time.
The study is based on data from approximately 400,000 people, one of the largest epidemiological studies to date, regardless of gender.
“We found that groups with a more physically active lifestyle had an almost 60% lower risk of developing anxiety disorders over a follow-up period of up to 21 years,” said Martine Svensson, lead author of the paper. Said a colleague. Tomas Deierborg, Principal Researcher, Faculty of Experimental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.
“This association between a physically active lifestyle and a reduced risk of anxiety was found in both men and women,” Svensson added.
However, the authors found that there were significant differences in athletic performance levels and risk of developing anxiety between male and female skiers.
Male skiers’ physical fitness did not appear to affect their risk of developing anxiety, but the highest performing group of female skiers experienced anxiety disorders compared to those who were physically active at lower performance levels. The risk of developing it was almost doubled.
“Importantly, the total risk of anxiety among high-performing women was still low compared to women who were more physically inactive in the general population,” they said.
According to researchers, these findings cover a relatively unknown area of scientific research. Most studies to date have focused on depression or psychiatric disorders rather than specifically diagnosed anxiety disorders. In addition, some of the largest studies considering this topic include men only, sample sizes are much smaller, and follow-up data are limited to track the long-term effects of physical activity on mental health. , There was none at all.
The surprising findings of the association between female physical fitness and the risk of anxiety disorders also emphasized the scientific importance of these findings for follow-up.
“Our results suggest that the relationship between anxiety symptoms and motor behavior may not be linear,” says Svensson.
“Motor behavior and anxiety symptoms can be affected by genetics, psychological factors, personality traits, and confounding factors not investigated in our cohort. For extreme exercise, these men and women We need research behavior to investigate the driving factors behind the differences and how they affect the development of anxiety, “Svensson added.
They added that randomized intervention trials and long-term objective measurements of physical activity in prospective studies are also needed to assess the validity and causality of the associations they reported. But does this mean that skiing in particular can play an important role in keeping anxiety away, as opposed to other forms of exercise? No, Svensson and Deierborg said, given that previous studies also show the benefits of staying healthy in our mental health.
“I think this cross-country skier cohort is a good alternative to an active lifestyle, but there may also be an element of being more outdoor among skiers,” they said.
Relevance results and magnitudes may differ slightly in studies focused on a particular sport, due to other important factors that affect mental health and cannot be easily controlled by study analysis. Researchers say it is likely to be.
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