The Mood-Boosting Effects of Exercise for Bipolar Disorder

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People who are more physically active throughout the day have more perceived energy and a more positive mood, compared to those who are sedentary, according to a study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Interestingly, this boost in mood and energy levels is even more pronounced in people with bipolar disorder, the researchers say.

The Hopkins study involved 242 people (150 women and 92 men) between ages 15 and 84, including 54 people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For two weeks, study participants wore activity trackers — devices like FitBits that record physical movement and sleep — and used electronic diaries that assessed mood and perceived energy levels four times per day. They also rated their moods on a scale from “very happy” to “very sad” and their energy from “very energetic” to “very tired” throughout the study.

According to the researchers, higher activity and energy levels were associated with better moods and higher energy levels later in the day. Also, study participants who were more active during the day slept less at night, and those who slept more tended to be less active the next day.

While many interventions for bipolar disorder focus on just one of these factors, the study authors say, this research underscores the importance of physical activity, mood, energy, and sleep in maintaining good mental health, especially in people with mood disorders.

Sourced from: JAMA Psychiatry