Exercise Effective for Depression but Not for Women? What Does Research Say?

World known experts are aware that exercise is a clear path to reduce depression but recent studies show that it may not be effective for both genders.

Depression is known as the first cause of disability across the globe according to the Women Health Organization (WHO). If this disease has affected the person severely since a long time, then it will have a very harmful effect on the individual in the long run.

There are beneficial treatments but according to research, more than one in two people suffering from depression are not treated. The reason being; undergoing incorrect diagnosis, the realized stigma around mental health and few ways of access to resources.

Everywhere, the doctors are prescribing antidepressants as medication but it has been shown by experts that there are easier ways with quick access to treatment available. Harvard Medical School suggests that exercise is as powerful as medicines, however they also note that medication is somewhat more important in particular cases.

Moreover, a new research from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has discovered that the effect of exercise on depression is different for both the genders. The scientists performed their research of exercise and sleep patterns on 1100 people who were studying in Beijing, China.

It is already widely known by the professionals that disturbed sleep is one of the symptoms of depression and exercise is one of the solutions for such a disease. A new study was done where individuals were told to complete three questionnaires for topics on; sleep, exercise and depressive symptoms.

The difference between the genders

When researched it was found that a link between exercise and depression was only found in the male individuals. Normal or extensive exercise had an affirmative effect for men who were sufferers of depression.

Women, who suffered from depression, were not gaining any advantage when exercising whether it was a hard core or moderate.

The investigator, Weiyun Chen is convinced that some women in this research were part of a high-intensity exercise program and this would explain the results. Although, it does go against the previous information collected.

Earlier research found out that less to normal intensity exercises were an advantage for treating depression. Hard core exercises release endorphins, though continuous exercise helps in the increase of nerve cells.

More research about effects of exercise on women

A recent finding which was published in the Journal of American College Health, showcased that nor low or hard core exercises provide help to women suffering of depression.

The research carried out can be important because depression is common in women than in men. The study also made it evident that 43% women were viewed as having depressive symptoms whereas the rest 37% were male.

There were however some likeness between the genders. Poor sleep was linked with the level of depression for both the genders.

The researchers found out that many sufferers did not bring into account that they are depressed. It was very close to one in seven that college students were diagnosed of depression mostly because their surroundings made them weary and stressed and they suffered from having less sleep.

Final thoughts on the research carried out

As seen in results that women had a higher ratio of reporting about depression which inturn explains the connection between depression, exercise and sleep. People who suffer from high levels of depression become lazy and aren’t interested to inhibit a healthy lifestyle by exercising. It also showed that they have difficulty sleeping peacefully. These findings are mostly evident in females.

More hard work should be put in to find out further information about the content collected and support it with strong evidence. It is best to include people from different regions around the world so the information collected can be checked globally to see if the results match each other. Different age groups should be assessed to create a diverse range of information.

Because of the gender differences, women should be given more importance when evaluating about depression as it was not given much light to in the past.