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J Phys Act Health. 2018 Sep 1;15(9):692-696. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2017-0390. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Home-Based Physical Activity Program Improves Depression and Anxiety in Older Adults.



Late-life depression and anxiety among older adults is an important public health concern. This study examined the effect of a DVD-delivered exercise intervention on the secondary outcomes of depression and anxiety in older adults and the extent to which physical self-worth mediated the relationship between leisure-time physical activity and depression and anxiety.


Older adults (N = 307) were randomized to a 6-month flexibility, toning, and balance DVD (FlexToBa™, FTB) or healthy aging DVD control. Self-reported physical activity and questionnaires were administered at baseline and postintervention. Statistical analyses were conducted in the total sample and in a subsample of participants with elevated levels of depression or anxiety.


FTB participants with elevated depression and anxiety symptoms at baseline had significantly greater reductions in depression and anxiety (d = 1.66 and 2.90) than the control condition (d = 0.77 and 0.73). The effect of physical activity on depression and anxiety was partially mediated by increases in physical self-worth in the total sample but not in those with elevated depression or anxiety.


A home-based physical activity intervention may be a viable treatment for reducing depression and anxiety in older adults with elevated baseline scores.


aging; exercise; mental health


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