WEIGHT LIFTING/STRENGTH TRAINING/RESISTANCE EXERCISES CAN BE AS EFFECTIVE FOR DEPRESSION AS MEDICATION
ANOTHER POSITIVE RECENT UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK STUDY
A large-scale review of clinical trials, carried out by UL researchers has found that
resistance training led to “significant” improvements in the symptoms of people with
WEIGHTLIFTING, and other types of strength training, can be as effective at
alleviating symptoms of depression as medication or therapy, a new study at the
University of Limerick has found.
A large scale review of clinical trials, carried out by the UL Physical Education and
Sport Sciences Department, has found that resistance training led to “significant”
improvements in the symptoms of people with depression.
The study found that when compared to non-active control conditions, resistance
training was comparable to treatments like antidepressants and behavioural
“Strength training or weight lifting, is free from the negative side effects and high
costs of many medications and therapies,” Brett R. Gordon, of the UL Physical
Education and Sport Sciences Department, said.
“Strength or resistance training can also be carried out alongside the other therapies.
Decreases in depressive symptoms happened regardless of whether participants
were healthy or had an illness, the amount of resistance training the participants
were supposed to do or or whether or not it resulted in significant improvements in
The effects of resistance training on depressive symptoms did not significantly vary
based on the number of sessions carried out per week or the intensity, the study
However, further research is needed to explore the optimal resistance exercise
training routine for improving depressive symptoms.
The effects of resistance exercise training (RET), or weight lifting and strength
training, on depressive symptoms have remained relatively understudied, and have
not been summarised in a large-scale quantitative review such as this.
This is the first time a large-scale quantitative review has summarised the effects of
resistance exercise training, weightlifting and strength training on depressive
symptoms, reviewing 33 clinical trials comprising of 1,877 participants.
The UL study, called Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With
Depressive Symptoms; Meta-analysis and Meta-regression Analysis of Randomized
Clinical Trials, has been published online in JAMA Psychiatry