Mental health researcher at UNSW Sydney and Black Dog Institute Dr. Simon Rosenbaum said that what was once viewed as ‘just’ a distraction from negative thoughts, the understanding of the relationship between exercise and mental health has evolved in recent years.
Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is marking World Mental Health Day by encouraging all Australians to engage in some form of physical activity to both protect and significantly benefit their mental health.
“Physical inactivity is the cause of approximately nine percent of premature deaths worldwide, with people experiencing a mental illness being particularly vulnerable.
Exercise should be seen as a ‘tool in the tool belt’ for people living with mental illness and as a strategy for helping to manage symptoms, ESSA chief executive officer Anita Hobson-Powell said.
“At ESSA, we are committed to promoting the role of exercise interventions as a key component of a global strategy toward achieving a 50 percent reduction in the life expectancy gap of people experiencing mental illness by 2032,” Ms. Hobson-Powell said.
According to ESSA, it is not about what type of exercise is best, but about what works for the individual.