Third of people could avoid mental health issues with regular workouts

A third of people at risk of depression and anxiety could prevent it by getting enough exercise, a study suggests.

Exercise is a well-known treatment for those with depression, with doctors even prescribing it.

But moving more could prevent people becoming depressed and anxious in the first place, a study of more than 37,000 people suggests.

If everyone managed 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise – which makes you breathe hard and includes running and swimming – it could prevent almost 19 per cent of cases of depression and anxiety, researchers concluded.

And if we all did between two-and-a-half hours and five hours a week of moderate activity – which makes you breathe faster and includes brisk walking, cycling and dancing – another 13 per cent of depression and anxiety diagnoses might never happen.

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