A decline in cardiorespiratory fitness—the kind running helps maintain—during late middle age is associated with a higher risk of developing depression, according to results of a longitudinal study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
The study included a group of 7936 men and 1261 women, aged 20-85 years, who did not complain of depression during their first clinic visit. Each subject was required to make four clinic visits total, with each visit separated by an average of two to three years, to be tested for markers of cardiorespiratory fitness via a treadmill test.
Each one-minute decline in endurance in men aged 51 to 55 and women aged 53 to 56 increased odds of a depression complaint by 2% (in men) and 9.5% (in women). When researchers adjusted for factors like smoking, drinking alcohol, chronic disease, and problems with anxiety and sleeping, the odds decreased but remained statistically significant, to 1.3% in men and 5.4% in women.
The takeaway? Keep running. ‘Nuff said.
Source: Meghan G. Loftus, Runner’s World