Effects of exercise type, volume and intensity on depression in an active population
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This study examined the impact of exercise type (e.g., endurance or strength training), volume and intensity on levels of depression symptomology in order to determine which of these moderators improves outcome the most. Duke Physical Education (PE) students were surveyed at the beginning of a school semester, three times during the semester, and at the end of the semester to examine changes in depression symptoms over time based on physical activity volume, type of exercise engaged in and perceived intensity of PE workouts. In the non-clinical sample of previously active college students, exercise had no impact on level of depression symptomology, regardless of type, volume or intensity. However, pretest depression level significantly predicted change in depression, indicating high levels of depression may be necessary to show substantial improvement. Additionally, mood was improved immediately after each PE class. For healthy college students, PE classes may provide short-term mood benefits but are not useful as a long-term solution for distress or symptoms of depression. Future studies should examine moderators of exercise in a previously active, clinically depressed population.
DepartmentPsychology and Neuroscience
CitationHeath, Madison (2018). Effects of exercise type, volume and intensity on depression in an active population. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16711.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers