People who regularly exercise are less likely to suffer from mental health problems according to research compiled by the University of Colorado Boulder, USA.
It also shows that those who are forced to exercise can benefit from the feel good factor of the exertion. According to the study, being forced to exercise can reduce anxiety and depression just as much as voluntary exercise does. Dr Benjamin Goodwood, an assistant research professor at the university, said: “If exercise is forced, will it still produce mental health benefits? It’s obvious that forced exercise will produce peripheral physiological benefits. But will it produce benefits to anxiety and depression?”
The team studied lab rats to try to answer the question by dividing them into two groups; one who could exercise when they chose, and one who ran on a mechanical wheel at scheduled intervals. The rats had their anxiety levels tested after six weeks of the trial and found that exercise benefitted their stress levels. Dr Greenwood went on to comment: “Regardless of whether the rats chose to run or were forced to run, they were protected against stress and anxiety.”