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Study Finds Exercise May Help Relieve Feelings of Anxiety

Anxiety is a condition characterized by a persistent sense of worry about a wide range of things. Chronic anxiety can interfere with the performance of daily responsibilities at work, home, and socially. A new study suggests that moderate and strenuous exercise may help improve feelings of anxiety.

Participants in the study included 286 adults with anxiety disorders. Approximately half of them had experienced anxiety for at least 10 years. They were assigned to moderate group exercise sessions, strenuous group exercise sessions, or a non-exercise group for 12 weeks. The researchers used the Beck Anxiety Inventory to assess anxiety at baseline and at the end of the study period.

The majority of participants who took part in the moderate or strenuous exercise programs went from moderate to high anxiety levels at baseline to a low anxiety level at the end of the study period. Participants in the strenuous exercise group saw the greatest improvements in feelings of anxiety.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Gothenburg. It was published online ahead of print on October 10, 2021 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

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