The effect of eight weeks of aerobic exercises on depression and its cognitive components


Khirollah Sadeghi 1 , Sayed Mojtaba Ahmadi 1 , * , Mansour Rezaei 2 , Mahin Salehi 3


1 Dept. of Psychology, School of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Dept. of Biostatistics, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Dept. of Physical Education, Faculity of physical education, Science and research branch of Yasuj Islamic Azad University, Yasuj, Iran


Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences: 17 (6); e77047
Published Online: September 29, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 05, 2013
Accepted: June 25, 2013




Background: Depression is one of the most common psychiatry disorders. The most common treatments for this disorder are pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. Due to the side effects and expensiveness of these methods, developing the non-drug treatments seems to be necessary. This study tries to determine the effect of eight weeks of aerobic exercises on depression, frequency of negative automatic thoughts, belief to them and dysfunctional attitudes.

Methods: This experimental study was conducted on 36 students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences who received scores between 13 to 29 in the second edition of Beck depression inventory. They were randomly divided into two groups of experimental (18 cases), and control group (18 cases). Two cases from the experimental group and four from the control group were excluded due to the lack of replying to the inventory. Subjects completed the second edition of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Dysfunctional Attitudes Scales (DAS), Automatic thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ) and Beck Hopelessness Scales (BHS) before and after 8 weeks of the intervention. Data were analysed using the independent and paired t-tests.

Results: Subjects’ mean scores in post-test indicated a significant reduction in depression (P<0.001), the frequency of automatic thoughts (P=0.005) and belief to them (P=0.014). Besides, the experimental group revealed a significant reduction only in depression (P=0.03).

Conclusion: Eight weeks of aerobic exercises were effective in reducing depression, frequency and belief to negative automatic thoughts.


Depression Disorder Aerobic Exercise Cognitive Components

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