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Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2005 Dec;27(4):266-71. Epub 2005 Dec 12.

Depression, anxiety and quality of life scores in seniors after an endurance exercise program.

Author information

  • 1Psychobiology Department, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. hannakaren@psicobio.epm.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Mood disorders are a frequent problem in old age, and their symptoms constitute an important public health issue. These alterations affect the quality of life mainly by restricting social life. The participation in a regular exercise program is an effective way of reducing or preventing the functional decline associated with aging. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of fitness-endurance activity (at the intensity of Ventilatory Threshold 1 (VT-1)) in depression, anxiety and quality of life scores in seniors.

METHODS:

The study involved 46 sedentary seniors aged 60-75 (66.97 +/- 4.80) who were randomly allocated to two groups: 1) Control group, which was neither asked to vary their everyday activities nor to join a regular physical fitness program; and 2) Experimental group, whose members took part in an aerobic fitness program consisting of ergometer cycle sessions 3 times a week on alternate days for six months working at a heart rate corresponding to ventilatory threshold (VT-1) intensity. Subjects were submitted to a basal evaluation using the geriatric depression screening scale--GDS, STAI trait/state (anxiety scale) and SF-36 (quality of life scale).

RESULTS:

Comparing the groups after the study period, we found a significant decrease in depressive and anxiety scores and an improvement in the quality of life in the experimental group, but no significant changes in the control group.

CONCLUSION:

The data suggest that an aerobic exercise program at VT-1 intensity suffices to promote favorable modifications in depressive and anxiety scores to improve the quality of life in seniors.

PMID:
16358106
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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