Study finds regular exercise may reduce the risk of developing anxiety

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According to a new study, those who exercise on a regular basis have a nearly 60% decreased risk of acquiring anxiety.

The research appeared in the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychiatry.’

A fast online search for ways to boost our mental health typically yields a plethora of varied outcomes. However, one of the most prevalent recommendations for achieving wellbeing – and preventing future problems – is to engage in some form of physical activity, such as taking a walk or participating in a team sport.

Anxiety disorders, which usually appear early in life, are thought to afflict 10% of the world’s population and are twice as common in women as they are in males. While exercise is promoted as a viable treatment for anxiety, nothing is known regarding the effect of exercise dose, intensity, or level of physical fitness on the risk of developing anxiety disorders.

To assist with answering this question, Swedish researchers discovered that between 1989 and 2010, participants in the world’s greatest long-distance cross-country ski event (Vasaloppet) had a “much lower chance” of acquiring anxiety than non-skiers.

To assist with answering this question, Swedish researchers discovered that between 1989 and 2010, participants in the world’s greatest long-distance cross-country ski event (Vasaloppet) had a “much lower chance” of acquiring anxiety than non-skiers.

The research is based on data from almost 400,000 people in one of the largest population-wide epidemiological studies ever conducted, which included both men and women.

“Over a 21-year follow-up period, we found that the group with a more physically active lifestyle had a nearly 60% lower risk of developing anxiety disorders,” said Martine Svensson, first author of the paper, and her colleague and principal investigator, Tomas Deierborg, both of the Department of Experimental Medical Science at Lund University in Sweden.

According to the researchers, studies focusing on individual sports may find somewhat different results and magnitudes of the connections, but this is most likely owing to other key elements that affect mental health that are difficult to control in research analysis

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