An effective exercise-based intervention for improving mental health and quality of life measures: a randomized controlled trial

Prev Med. 2004 Aug;39(2):424-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.02.007.


Objectives: This study investigates the effectiveness of 24-week aerobic and weight-training exercise plus behavior modification for mental health and quality of life (QOL) outcomes.

Methods: Mental health and QOL data was collected using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales and SF-36 Health Status Survey, respectively. Employees from a single work-site were randomized into either treatment or wait-list control groups.

Results: Mental Health (P = 0.005), Vitality (P < 0.001), General Health (P = 0.009), Bodily Pain (P = 0.005), Physical Functioning (P = 0.004), Depression (P = 0.048), and Stress (P = 0.036) scales significantly improved for the treatment group compared to wait-list controls after 24 weeks.

Conclusions: Multimodal exercise is as effective as other single-modality exercise treatments for depressive symptoms and, in contrast to other studies, does improve stress symptoms and QOL outcomes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Depression / therapy
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stress, Physiological / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome