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Systematic Review

The Association of Physical (in)Activity with Mental Health. Differences between Elder and Younger Populations: A Systematic Literature Review

1
Health Policy Department, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, UK
2
Centre for Research in Health and Economics (CRES-UPF) Mercè Rodoreda Building, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
3
Tecnocampus, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08302 Mataró, Spain
4
Freelance Researcher, 31007 Pamplona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paul B. Tchounwou, Laura Coll-Planas, Sebastià Mas-Alos, Nicole Blackburn and Cristina Godinho
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094771
Received: 11 March 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 27 April 2021 / Published: 29 April 2021
Background: Physical activity is associated with mental health benefits. This systematic literature review summarises extant evidence regarding this association, and explores differences observed between populations over sixty-five years and those younger than sixty-five. Methods: We reviewed articles and grey literature reporting at least one measure of physical activity and at least one mental disorder, in people of all ages. Results: From the 2263 abstracts screened, we extracted twenty-seven articles and synthesized the evidence regarding the association between physical (in)activity and one or more mental health outcome measures. We confirmed that physical activity is beneficial for mental health. However, the evidence was mostly based on self-reported physical activity and mental health measures. Only one study compared younger and elder populations, finding that increasing the level of physical activity improved mental health for middle aged and elder women (no association was observed for younger women). Studies including only the elderly found a restricted mental health improvement due to physical activity. Conclusions: We found inverse associations between levels of physical activity and mental health problems. However, more evidence regarding the effect of ageing when measuring associations between physical activity and mental health is needed. By doing so, prescription of physical activity could be more accurately targeted. View Full-Text
Keywords: systematic literature review; physical activity; diagnosed mental health; ageing; clinically relevant mental health systematic literature review; physical activity; diagnosed mental health; ageing; clinically relevant mental health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maynou, L.; Hernández-Pizarro, H.M.; Errea Rodríguez, M. The Association of Physical (in)Activity with Mental Health. Differences between Elder and Younger Populations: A Systematic Literature Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4771. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094771

AMA Style

Maynou L, Hernández-Pizarro HM, Errea Rodríguez M. The Association of Physical (in)Activity with Mental Health. Differences between Elder and Younger Populations: A Systematic Literature Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(9):4771. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094771

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maynou, Laia; Hernández-Pizarro, Helena M.; Errea Rodríguez, María. 2021. "The Association of Physical (in)Activity with Mental Health. Differences between Elder and Younger Populations: A Systematic Literature Review" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 9: 4771. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094771

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