A new study carried out in the South West claims that physical exercise is not effective in treating depression.
The research, lead by researched from Universities of Bristol, Exeter and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, contradicts other evidence which says exercise can help treat the symptoms of depression.
The NHS-funded study suggests combining exercise with conventional treatments for depression does not improve recovery.
The year-long study looked at the effects when some patients were given help to boost their activity levels in addition to receiving therapy or anti-depressants.
Researchers recruited 361 patients aged 18-69 years who had recently been diagnosed with depression. Trial participants were then split into two groups to receive either the physical activity intervention in addition to usual care or usual care on its own and were followed up for 12 months to assess any change in their symptoms. **
After a year, all 361 patients had fewer signs of depression, but there was no difference between the two groups.
The study is published in the British Medical Journal.