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Sprint interval training (SIT) substantially reduces depressive symptoms in major depressive disorder (MDD): A randomized controlled trial.

Authors
  • Minghetti, Alice1
  • Faude, Oliver2
  • Hanssen, Henner3
  • Zahner, Lukas4
  • Gerber, Markus5
  • Donath, Lars6
  • 1 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel 4052, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 2 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel 4052, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 3 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel 4052, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 4 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel 4052, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 5 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel 4052, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 6 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel 4052, Switzerland; Department of Intervention Research in Exercise Training, German Sport University Cologne, Köln, Germany. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychiatry research
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2018
Volume
265
Pages
292–297
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.053
PMID: 29775886
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Continuous aerobic exercise training (CAT) is considered a complementary treatment option in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Intermittent exercise training protocols, such as sprint interval training (SIT) have gained increasing popularity, but no studies on depressive symptoms following SIT in patients with MDD are available. Fifty-nine in-patients with MDD were randomly assigned to a SIT or CAT group. Medication was counterbalanced in both intervention arms. Both intervention groups received 3 weekly training sessions for 4-weeks (12 sessions in total). SIT comprised 25 bouts of 30 seconds at 80% of maximal power, whereas CAT consisted of 20 minutes of physical activity at 60% of maximal power. The training protocols were isocalorically designed. Maximal bicycle ergometer exercise testing yielded maximal and submaximal physical fitness parameters. The Beck-Depression-Inventory-II (BDI-II) was filled out by the patients before and after the intervention period. BDI-II scores substantially decreased in both groups with an effect size pointing towards a large effect (p < 0.001, ηp² = 0.70) while submaximal (0.07 < d < 0.89) and maximal (0.05 < d < 0.85) fitness variables improved in both groups. Short-term SIT leads to similar results as CAT in patients with MDD and can be regarded as a time-efficient and promising exercise-based treatment strategy.

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