Working Out the Woes: An Analysis of the Impact of Exercise on Depression

Plast Surg Nurs. 2015 Oct-Dec;35(4):155-61; quiz 162-3. doi: 10.1097/PSN.0000000000000113.


The purpose of this review is to examine existing research to determine whether exercise has a significant effect on improving emotional well-being and symptoms of depression. At any given time, it is estimated that greater than 15% of Americans are plagued by a depressive mood disorder. Plastic surgical nurses will encounter individuals with symptoms of depression who seek elective plastic surgical and cosmetic procedures. With a broad spectrum of symptoms and presentations, both practitioners and those suffering may have difficulty identifying depression. Even after being identified, it can be quite challenging to effectively treat depressive mood disorders. The integration of exercise into the plan of care not only helps tackle one's mental health condition but also benefits any physical health concerns. The plastic surgical nurse can advocate for evidence-based practices and educate the plastic surgical patient on the benefits of physical exercise. Additional research is needed to determine the most effective amount and types of exercise to be used in clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / therapy*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Humans