Monday, July 13, 2009

Exercise and optimism

There is lots of evidence pointing to the positive effects of exercise on people's mental health and new research from Finland suggests that it may also stop people from feeling a sense of hopelessness. Researchers from Kuopio University Hospital studied 2,428 men between 42 and 60 and found that those who spent less than one hour a week taking moderate-vigorous exercise were 37% more likely to report feeling hopeless than men who did 2.5 hours or more. Vigorous physical activity was particularly effective and the link remained even after adjusting for age, socioeconomic status and other relevant factors. The men who reported the highest levels of hopelessness had "more pronounced features" of the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of features such as a large waist and high cholesterol known to boost the risk of heart disease and diabetes. They were also less active and physically fit.

You can find out more about this research at

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