Study done at Children’s Hospital New England compared a brief walk, supervised by a staff psychologist, with healthy people on anti-depressants or do not begin antidepressants.
There was no difference in symptoms between those who walked and those who didn’t; even walking over 30 minutes twice a week was associated with a 30 percent decrease in symptoms, according to The Boston Globe.
The type of depression the people had — mild or moderate — hasn’t been classified and there is not enough data yet to draw conclusions from this, said Dr. Richard Verghese, director of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Primary Care, told The Boston Globe.
Dr. Verghese said the purpose of the study was to determine whether chronic physical activity is a great way to help people with Postpartum Depression symptoms. Postpartum Depression is a common reason why women return to work in the months after giving birth.
It was meant to determine if the clinical level of the symptoms actually diminished or didn’t change at all, according to Women’s Health magazine.
“In general, these studies are meant to be useful for clinicians to use in their practice,” Verghese said. “However, there is currently not enough evidence from these studies to recommend that women try physical activity to treat depression.”
Verghese recommended that people who had mild symptoms saw their primary care doctor and if they were still having symptoms after a week, spoke to their nurse practitioner to see if they could start medications.
This study will be published next week in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.