The Washington PostThe Washington Post

The best treatment for depression? It could be exercise

By Gretchen Reynolds

15 Mar 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

You don't have to run a marathon to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. The Post reports on research which found that exercise can be as effective as medicine for treating depression.

Exercise as a treatment for severe depression is at least as effective as standard drugs or psychotherapy and by some measures better, according to the largest study to date of exercise as "medicine" for depression.

The study pooled data from 41 studies involving 2,265 people with depression and showed that almost any type of exercise substantially reduces depression symptoms, although some forms of exercise seemed more beneficial than others.

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