Mood and symptom reporting among middle-aged women: the relationship between menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy, and exercise participation

Health Psychol. 1997 May;16(3):203-8. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.16.3.203.


Vasomotor, somatic, and psychological symptoms associated with menopause are often treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but the role of nonpharmacological interventions has received little attention. Two studies used the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ) to examine the effects of exercise among 4 groups of Australian women: premenopausal, perimenopausal, postmenopausal without HRT, and postmenopausal with HRT. Study 1, a comparison of exercisers and nonexercisers, showed that exercisers' moods were significantly more positive than sedentary women's moods, regardless of menopausal state. Exercising women also scored lower on somatic symptoms and memory-concentration difficulties. Study 2 examined the acute effects of aerobic exercise (premenopausal, postmenopausal without HRT, and postmenopausal with HRT) and found significant enhancements in mood and reductions in reported somatic and vasomotor symptoms immediately following an aerobic class. Exercise may assist in the alleviation of some menopausal symptoms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Anxiety
  • Attention
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Menopause / psychology*
  • Middle Aged