Physical activity and ageing

Cassie Phoenix, Emmanuelle Tulle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this chapter is to focus on the evidence for physical activity as a strategy to prevent and treat depression. There is a consistent body of literature that indicates being physically active prevents depression and that exercise can alleviate depressive symptoms. There is a range of plausible mechanisms that explain why physical activity may have an antidepressant effect. Challenges and implications for policy and practice are presented. Both physical activity and mental health professionals have important roles to play in establishing inter-professional dialogue and collaborating in developing structures of referral to supervised and structured exercise interventions.There is a compelling and extensive body of literature supporting the role of physical activity in enhancing and maintaining physical health. Over the last decade there has been rapid growth in research findings concerning the mental health benefits of physical activity. The journal Mental Health and Physical Activity is dedicated to the topic while 2013 saw the publication of the most comprehensive synthesis to date on the subject (Ekkekakis 2013a). The collective body of evidence presents a strong case that physical activity similarly helps enhance and maintain many dimensions of mental health. As Boreham and Riddoch (2003, p. 24) neatly encapsulated, ‘from the cradle to the grave, regular physical activity appears to be an essential ingredient for human well-being’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Physical Activity Policy and Practice
EditorsJoe Piggin, Louise Mansfield, Mike Weed
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315672779
ISBN (Print)9781138943087
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


  • ageing
  • physical activity
  • policy and practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)


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