The evidence is in – exercise is an increasingly effective and beneficial front-line therapy for improving general wellbeing and mental health.
The Evidence is Strong: Exercise Improves Mental Health Outcomes
An exercise session releases endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins, “happy hormones”, when released in the brain, reduce pain and can lead to increased relaxation and energy, combat stress, anxiety and lethargy. Serotonin, responsible for affecting mood, appetite, libido and sleep levels – further addresses primary symptoms of a range of mental health conditions.
National Physical Activity Guidelines state that 30 minutes of brisk walking per day, and not even all in one session, can illicit significant effects on mental health outcomes. According to the Black Dog Institute, just 16 weeks of regular exercise has been found to be equally effective as antidepressant medication in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.
Exercise has many additional wellbeing benefits such as improving cardio-respiratory fitness which in turn has been proven to improve reported wellbeing and quality of life. When combined with good nutrition, exercise is a key strategy to prevent a whole range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and asthma and has the potential to substantially reduce the burden of disease in Australia.
Altius Group Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) Provide Individualised Exercise Support as part of your EAP
- Our EAPs can provide employees with a customised exercise program, based on an individual’s fitness level, life goals and preferred exercise methods.
- Programs can be provided via remote teleconferencing.
- Sessions can be used to measure, track and update an employees’ fitness level to increase their physical wellbeing. We can devise exercise plans for employees that are free, performed at home – that don’t have to be overly vigorous, exhausting or strenuous to be of significant benefit.
- Our exercise physiologists understand that exercise tailored for mental health conditions should not be a structured approach but rather focus on encouraging individuals to add more of the things they enjoy, such as walking the dog, taking the stairs or getting off the bus a stop early, into their schedule.
- Click here for further information about the exercise research and exercise services provided by the Altius Group
If you are an employee who would like to know whether exercise support is included in your EAP offering, or you represent and organisation who would like to enquire about including the service for your employees, contact PeopleSense by Altius on 1300 307 912