Running Man


Studies into the benefits of exercise

Studies show that exercise is beneficial for both physical and psychological wellbeing.

In addition to all the benefits to our physical health – decreased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative conditions and some cancers, and improved immune system – research also confirms the benefits to our mental wellbeing (Eime, Young, Harvey, Charity & Payne, 2013). Stonerock, Hoffman, Smith and Blumenthal (2015) suggest that ‘as a treatment for elevated anxiety or anxiety disorders, exercise offers benefits comparable to established treatments, including medication or CBT’; Bartley, Hay and Bloch (2013) note that in addition to improved mood, there's the bonus of well-evidenced general health benefits. As your fitness levels improve, and you realise that you've been able to achieve things you didn't believe you could, your confidence and self-esteem receive a boost, increasing the ability to deal with life’s stresses (Biddle, Fox & Boutcher, 2000; Whitelaw, Teuton, Swift & Scobie, 2010). 


Bartley, C.A., Hay, M. & Bloch, M.H. (2013). Meta-analysis: Aerobic exercise for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 45, 34-39.

Biddle, S.J.H., Fox, K.R. & Boutcher, S.H. (2000). Physical Activity and Psychological Well-being. Oxon: Routledge

Eime, R.M., Young, J.A., Harvey, J.T., Charity, M.J. & Payne, W.R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved from:

Stonerock, G.L., Hoffman, B.M., Smith P.J. & Blumenthal, J.A. (2015). Exercise as Treatment for Anxiety: Systematic Review and Analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(4), 542–556,

Whitelaw, S., Teuton, J., Swift, J. & Scobie, G. (2010). The physical activity – mental wellbeing association in young people: A case study in dealing with a complex public health topic using a ‘realistic evaluation’ framework. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 3(2), 61-66. Retrieved from: