The challenges of treating depression with exercise: From evidence to practice

Richard J. Seime, Kristin S. Vickers

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Stathopoulou, Powers, Berry, Smits, and Otto (2006) conducted a meta-analysis of exercise as a treatment for depression. The empirical evidence is convincing that exercise either alone or in combination with other evidence-supported treatment is effective in treating clinically significant depression. The challenge lies in translating the convincing evidence into effective practice. This commentary focuses on the barriers that clinicians encounter in utilizing exercise in the face of depressive symptoms, pessimism, low motivation, and physical inactivity and withdrawal. We also discuss some practical suggestions to enhance the likelihood that patients with depression implement and maintain exercise behaviors to improve their mood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-197
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2006


  • Depression
  • Exercise
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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