The authors investigated the effect of chronic exercise on feelings of energy and fatigue using meta-analytic techniques. Chronic exercise increased feelings of energy and lessened feelings of fatigue compared with control conditions by a mean effect delta of 0.37. The effect varied according to the presence or absence of a placebo control or whether chronic exercise was completed alone or in combination with an additional therapy. Investigations that used a placebo control and examined chronic exercise alone found no effect of chronic exercise on feelings of energy and fatigue. Certain placebo controls may increase feelings of energy and lessen feelings of fatigue when used with older adults or people with psychological distress. The results highlight the need for research identifying the most useful control conditions for accurately interpreting mental health outcome data obtained in chronic exercise investigations.
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