Effects of increased daily physical activity on mental health and depression biomarkers in postmenopausal women

J Phys Ther Sci. 2019 Apr;31(4):408-413. doi: 10.1589/jpts.31.408. Epub 2019 Apr 1.


[Purpose] Little is known about the effectiveness of daily physical activity on depression biomarkers in older adults. This study aimed to investigate the effects of increased daily physical activity for 8 weeks on depression biomarkers in postmenopausal women. [Participants and Methods] Thirty-eight postmenopausal females were randomly assigned into a control or an active group and were asked to wear a uniaxial accelerometer for 8 weeks. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and at the end of the intervention. During the intervention, the active group was asked to increase their physical activity level above their usual lifestyle whereas those in the control group maintained their daily lifestyle. [Results] After the 8-week intervention, the step counts of the participants in the active group increased. The serum concentration of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor and serotonin increased significantly in the active group, but not in the control group, as compared with baseline values. The serum concentration of derivatives of reactive oxygen metabolites and biological antioxidant potential did not change after the intervention in either group. [Conclusion] These findings may suggest that promotion of daily physical activity in postmenopausal women has a positive impact on depression without any change in oxidative stress.

Keywords: Ageing; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Oxidative stress.