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Hour of Power: Healthy Tips for Staying Jolly this Holiday Season

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
For many, the holiday months bring good tidings and cheer, but portions of the population find that seasonal pressures are making them blue. One in five adults will suffer from major depression at some point, often during prime working years. Associated costs include $51 billion in productivity loss and $26 billion in direct treatment costs, according to Mental Health America, and depression increases the risk for other chronic diseases.

Over the years, multiple studies have indicated that exercise can mitigate and even prevent depression. Today, new research further emphasizes this point, showing that even small amounts of physical activity can largely influence psychological well-being.

One Norwegian survey tracked exercise habits among 34,000 adults and found that people who exercised for just one hour a week were 44% less likely to develop depression over a decadethan those who did not exercise at all. Results suggested that while more intense or lengthier exercise may boost physical health, a simple walk sufficed to achieve mental health benefits. "This was not a case of more is better," explained study author, Samuel Harvey. "The vast majority of the mental health benefits of exercise were realized when individuals moved from doing no regular activity to 1 or 2 hours per week."

Employers can collaborate on strategies to get employees out of their chairs and away from their screens. Those interested in finding ways to help their employees reap the mental health benefits of physical activity are encouraged to contact Lauren Schulte, Director of Well-being & Communications, to learn more about the BHC's free health improvement resources.

Warm regards,
Louise

 

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