Exercise replacing medication for improved mental health

WHEN YOU’RE feeling blue, do you get up and move, or reach for the remote?

As part of the Black Dog Institute’s Exercise Your Mood Week (4-12 May), experts are reminding us that non-medical interventions, like exercise, have the potential to improve your mental health and protect from the development of depression.

As part of the drive to get Australians moving more, the Exercise Your Mood campaign encourages people to build a regular ‘exercise hour’ into their week.


A statement, released by the Black Dog Institute, outlines how research shows that just one hour of physical activity each week could be enough to protect people from developing depressive symptoms.

According to the Institute’s Professor Katherine Boydell, growing interest in social prescribing and their own research findings confirms the importance of exercising regularly.

“We are making meaningful progress in the area of social prescribing in Australia and are looking at countries like the UK and Canada as inspiration,” Prof Boydell explains.

“These countries are really increasing their support to healthcare professionals so they can prescribe their patients non-medical interventions like exercise programs,” she adds.

“It is an effective method to offer people with depression help beyond typical therapy and medication.”

Health and Fitness expert Michelle Bridges, who is the official Exercise Your Mood ambassador, wants to remind Australians that any form of exercise will make a difference on your mental fitness.

“A lot of people feel pressure to commit to a high impact exercise program in order to make a difference on their health and wellbeing,” Ms Bridges said.


“We are here to say that any extra physical activity you can manage on a daily basis will make a difference to your mental health.

“Doing any form of exercise or movement is better than doing none.”

To get involved or to learn more about the Exercise Your Mood campaign, click here.