Exercise Interventions For Depressed Children

Exercise Interventions isn’t a cure-all for depression, but it can positively impact mental health. It helps people feel better about themselves and boost their self-esteem. Many studies have shown that physical activity reduces depressive symptoms in adults and adolescents. This can be due to distraction, task mastery, social interaction and improving mood through the self-esteem gained from exercising.

Hope for the future.

For teens with depression, exercise can be a godsend. It has the same benefits as various psychological treatments and is more cost-effective to administer, especially when coupled with a good diet and regular sleep. Additionally, it can be easily tailored to the individual and incorporated into family life as a form of socialization. As for efficacy, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that exercise positively impacts depressed adolescents [53, 55].

In short, there is no question that exercise is the best option for alleviating the symptoms of depression in children and teens. This is largely because it has several advantages over pharmacological treatment options. A few more noteworthy ones include:

  • A more pleasant side effect profile.
  • A higher degree of compliance with the treatment.
  • Improved quality of life in general.

In addition, there is an increasing understanding that exercise can be a more effective treatment for various conditions involving psychosocial and physical detriments such as substance abuse and anxiety.

Self-management-Exercise Interventions

Self-management is a skill that helps people control their actions and reactions and keep track of what they’ve done. This skill can be used to improve self-esteem, which can help people overcome their depression.

It is important to manage your emotions and stay positive when exercising with exercise interventions for depressed children. A positive attitude can help you be more productive and reduce stress.

Research has shown that physical activity can have an antidepressant effect on youth and adolescents. These studies found that physical activity can increase the bioavailability of neurotransmitters known to reduce depressive symptoms. This could be because physical activity improves executive function, often impaired in those with depression.


Exercise interventions for depressed children are effective in treating mild to moderate depression. However, there are few long-term follow-ups to evaluate adolescents’ exercise experiences as a treatment for depression.

A salutogenic sense of coherence (SOC) comprises manageability, comprehensibility, and meaningfulness [22,27]. This study aimed to describe adolescents’ long-term experiences of a group-based moderate to a vigorous exercise intervention for depression as manageable, comprehensible, and meaningful.

The adolescents’ experiences of exercising in a supportive environment, with peers and receiving encouragement from adults contributed to manageability. They also felt comprehensible when they gained insight into the health benefits of exercise and the aim of the intervention. This facilitated meaning, which mainly comprised improved health behavior, well-being and self-esteem, strengthened belief in the future and an increased commitment to everyday life.

Meaningful-Exercise Interventions

One of the most effective ways to combat depression is with meaningful exercise interventions. This combination of physical activity and mental health education is designed to make exercise enjoyable and rewarding.

To make an exercise intervention more meaningful, we need to help the child connect it with something important to them. This could be a sport, an activity they enjoy, or something that will help them succeed in school, at work, or at home.

Several studies have found that physical activity can reduce the severity of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. However, these interventions’ effectiveness depends on several factors, including participant and trial-related characteristics.

To better understand the impact of exercise on depressive symptoms, we conducted a meta-analysis of published English language research. We included randomized controlled trials and non-randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of PA on depression in children and adolescents.