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Ann Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2004; 3: 12.
Published online 2004 June 29. doi:  10.1186/1475-2832-3-12
PMCID: PMC449721

Can physical activity improve the mental health of older adults?

Abstract

The world population is aging rapidly. Whilst this dramatic demographic change is a desirable and welcome phenomenon, particularly in view of people's increasing longevity, it's social, financial and health consequences can not be ignored. In addition to an increase of many age related physical illnesses, this demographic change will also lead to an increase of a number of mental health problems in older adults and in particular of dementia and depression. Therefore, any health promotion approach that could facilitate introduction of effective primary, secondary and even tertiary prevention strategies in old age psychiatry would be of significant importance. This paper explores physical activity as one of possible health promotion strategies and evaluates the existing evidence that supports its positive effect on cognitive impairment and depression in later life.


Articles from Annals of General Hospital Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central