BRIEF ACTIVITY ENHANCES MOOD
Doctors have long known that exercise helps relieve
depression. Now a study conducted at Northern Arizona
University suggests that brief daily periods of exer-
cise can lift the mood of healthy young college
students as well.
Lead investigator Cheryl J. Hansen
and her colleagues studied 14 female students who
exercised for 10, 20, or 30 minutes once a week, and
compared their changes in mood to that following a
period of just sitting quietly for 30 minutes. The
result: 10 minutes of moderate exercise was enough
to improve overall mood, as well as increase vigor
and decrease fatigue. Longer bouts of exercise had
no further effect on mood.
are for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per
day, but these can be accomplished in shorter spurts.
These findings should help doctors tailor exercise
recommendations to maximize both physical and psycho-
logical benefits, Hansen says.