Research Impact: This article provides a comprehensive review and critical appraisal of the relationship between physical activity (PA) and anxiety, the rationale for including PA as a treatment option for anxiety, and critical gaps in the available literature. Epidemiological evidence supports associations between higher PA and lower odds of anxiety disorders. A limited number of randomized controlled trials also support the potential efficacy of exercise as an alternative therapy for anxiety and stress-related disorders. Key gaps remain in the literature regarding plausible mechanisms underlying anxiolytic effects of increased PA and exercise, optimal dose, methods to improve adherence/compliance, and the role of fitness.
Kandola A, Vancampfort D, Herring MP, Rebar A, Hallgren M, Firth J, Stubbs B. Moving to beat anxiety: Epidemiology and therapeutic issues with physical activity for anxiety (2018). Current Psychiatry Reports, 20:63. doi: 10.1007/s11920-018-0923-x. (IF: 3.864; Q1 Psychiatry; R=35/142)