To do so, they used data from the Irish Longitudinal Study On Aging, which had information on activity levels, depression, and other health factors.
Upon their analysis, they found that doing just 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (i.e. brisk walking) for five days out of the week was associated with a 16% lower rate of depressive symptoms—and a 43% lower risk of major depression.
And from there, the more participants worked out, the more benefits they experienced (i.e. working out for longer periods of time saw greater reduction in depressive symptoms and major depression risk).
As the study’s lead author Eamon Laird Ph.D. explains in a news release, these findings are particularly relevant given the high prevalence of depression in older populations. “At minimum,” he adds, “try to engage in 20 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity at least five days per week, with more benefits seen at higher doses.”
Which brings us to our next point.