Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/ebnurs-2011-100294
  • Mental health
  • Quantitative other

The reciprocal relationship between physical activity and depression in older European adults

  1. Kamaldeep Singh Bhui
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Kamaldeep Singh Bhui
    Department of Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University, Charterhouse Square, Old Anatomy building, London, EC1M 6BQ, UK; k.s.bhui{at}

Implications for practice and research

  • The study highlights the mental health benefits of regular physical activity in the prevention of future depressive illness among older adults.

  • Physical activity appears to be effective for promoting mental health and preventing depression, although further study is needed of different types of depression, for example, recurrent or chronic depression.

  • Future studies, specifically randomised trials, should also determine the relationship between dose, and type, of physical activity and depression, and unexpected events in a prospective design if physical activity is to be routinely recommended.


Depression is approximately twice as prevalent among women compared with men and is associated with functional disability, co-morbid medical conditions and social deprivation.1 Longer life expectancy is leading to a …

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