Sumary of Study finds link between physically active lifestyle and lower risk of anxiety:
- To help answer this question, researchers in Sweden have published a study in Frontiers in Psychiatry to show that those who took part in the world’s largest long-distance cross-country ski race (Vasaloppet) between 1989 and 2010 had a “significantly lower risk” of developing anxiety compared to non-skiers during the same period.
- The study is based on data from almost 400,000 people in one of the largest ever population-wide epidemiology studies across both sexes.
- Related StoriesThese findings cover relatively uncharted territory for scientific research, according to the researchers, as most previous studies focused on depression or mental illness as opposed to specifically diagnosed anxiety disorders.
- Furthermore, some of the largest studies looking at this topic only included men, were much smaller in sample size, and had either limited or no follow-up data to track the long-term effects of physical activity on mental health.
- Next steps for research The surprising discovery of an association between physical performance and the risk for anxiety disorders in women also emphasized the scientific importance of these findings for follow-up research.
- ” They added that randomized intervention trials, as well as long-term objective measurements of physical activity in prospective studies, are also needed to assess the validity and causality of the association they reported.