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Research LibrarySport & Health

Physical activity and depression in men

By 18 May 2020No Comments
Dianne Currier et al.
Published: 2020


Men are less likely to use mental health services so alternative interventions like physical activity could be highly valuable. This study seeks to determine what levels of physical activity and intensity are associated with lower depression prevalence in Australian men


13,844 participants in a Longitudinal study on male health. It compares current depression in men who completed recommended 150 minutes of physical activity in last week compared to men who did not. It examines the impact of both duration and intensity of activity.

Key Findings

Men who completed at least 150 mins/week of physical activity had lower odds of moderate/severe depression symptoms. Duration of activity was inversely associated with moderate/severe depression symptoms, demonstrating increasing duration was more effective. Vigorous activity was also more effectively associated with lower depression than moderate activity.


The study highlights a clear correlation between increased duration and intensity of physical activity and a decreased risk of depression. Mental health problems are a significant issue in Scotland, particularly amongst middle aged men who may be less likely to use mental health services. Health practitioners might be interested in using alternative interventions and social prescribing as a method of combatting male depression