The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Anxiety and Its Disorders

Authored by: Angela C. Utschig , Michael W. Otto , Mark B. Powers , Jasper A. J. Smits

Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782999
eBook ISBN: 9780203132678
Adobe ISBN: 9781136477805


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Regular physical activity (PA) is associated with fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, lower levels of stress, anger, and cynical distrust, as well as better social functioning and vitality among persons with anxiety disorders. In this chapter, we review cross-sectional, longitudinal, and randomized studies that highlight the interplay between PA and anxiety and its disorders. Our aim is to summarize what is known about the PA–anxiety relation with the intent to guide future directions for research in this area.

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