An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health

Bradley Wipfli, D. Landers, C. Nagoshi, S. Ringenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has revealed that exercise is effective for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The mechanisms by which these reductions occur, however, have not been widely studied. To examine several potential theories, a prospective, randomized, 7-week exercise intervention was conducted. Untrained participants were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group or to a stretching-control group. Participants completed several questionnaires to assess psychological variables, including measures of depression and anxiety, and blood was drawn at pre- and post-test to measure serum serotonin levels. A mixed-design ANOVA revealed that the exercise group had lower levels of depression than the stretching-control group after the intervention. The exercise group also showed a larger percentage decrease in serotonin than the stretching-control group. This reduction in blood serotonin after exercise is similar to the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Additionally, percent change in serotonin was found to partially mediate the relationship between exercise and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Fingerprint

Serotonin
Mental Health
Depression
Psychology
Control Groups
Anxiety
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Analysis of Variance
Exercise
Serum
Research

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Physical activity
  • Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health. / Wipfli, Bradley; Landers, D.; Nagoshi, C.; Ringenbach, S.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Vol. 21, No. 3, 06.2011, p. 474-481.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6e9a179e38604d9191793d242e40c936,
title = "An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health",
abstract = "Research has revealed that exercise is effective for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The mechanisms by which these reductions occur, however, have not been widely studied. To examine several potential theories, a prospective, randomized, 7-week exercise intervention was conducted. Untrained participants were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group or to a stretching-control group. Participants completed several questionnaires to assess psychological variables, including measures of depression and anxiety, and blood was drawn at pre- and post-test to measure serum serotonin levels. A mixed-design ANOVA revealed that the exercise group had lower levels of depression than the stretching-control group after the intervention. The exercise group also showed a larger percentage decrease in serotonin than the stretching-control group. This reduction in blood serotonin after exercise is similar to the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Additionally, percent change in serotonin was found to partially mediate the relationship between exercise and depression.",
keywords = "Anxiety, Depression, Physical activity, Psychology",
author = "Bradley Wipfli and D. Landers and C. Nagoshi and S. Ringenbach",
year = "2011",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01049.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "21",
pages = "474--481",
journal = "Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports",
issn = "0905-7188",
publisher = "Blackwell Munksgaard",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health

AU - Wipfli, Bradley

AU - Landers, D.

AU - Nagoshi, C.

AU - Ringenbach, S.

PY - 2011/6

Y1 - 2011/6

N2 - Research has revealed that exercise is effective for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The mechanisms by which these reductions occur, however, have not been widely studied. To examine several potential theories, a prospective, randomized, 7-week exercise intervention was conducted. Untrained participants were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group or to a stretching-control group. Participants completed several questionnaires to assess psychological variables, including measures of depression and anxiety, and blood was drawn at pre- and post-test to measure serum serotonin levels. A mixed-design ANOVA revealed that the exercise group had lower levels of depression than the stretching-control group after the intervention. The exercise group also showed a larger percentage decrease in serotonin than the stretching-control group. This reduction in blood serotonin after exercise is similar to the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Additionally, percent change in serotonin was found to partially mediate the relationship between exercise and depression.

AB - Research has revealed that exercise is effective for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The mechanisms by which these reductions occur, however, have not been widely studied. To examine several potential theories, a prospective, randomized, 7-week exercise intervention was conducted. Untrained participants were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group or to a stretching-control group. Participants completed several questionnaires to assess psychological variables, including measures of depression and anxiety, and blood was drawn at pre- and post-test to measure serum serotonin levels. A mixed-design ANOVA revealed that the exercise group had lower levels of depression than the stretching-control group after the intervention. The exercise group also showed a larger percentage decrease in serotonin than the stretching-control group. This reduction in blood serotonin after exercise is similar to the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Additionally, percent change in serotonin was found to partially mediate the relationship between exercise and depression.

KW - Anxiety

KW - Depression

KW - Physical activity

KW - Psychology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79955963773&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79955963773&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01049.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01049.x

M3 - Article

C2 - 20030777

AN - SCOPUS:79955963773

VL - 21

SP - 474

EP - 481

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports

SN - 0905-7188

IS - 3

ER -