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'Lack of exercise affects mental health'

'Lack of exercise affects mental health'
6th December 2007

A lack of physical activity can lead to mental health problems, according to experts.

Evidence presented at the British Nutrition Foundation conference shows showed that not getting enough physical exertion can cause dementia and depression, reports the BBC.

Professor Nannette Mutrie, an expert in exercise and sport psychology at the University of Strathclyde, told the conference that it is only recently people have begun to see the link between mental health and exercise.

Dr Mutrie added that a person's risk of becoming depressed is doubled if they are inactive.

"It is estimated that over 700,000 people in the UK currently suffer from dementia and more research is needed to determine how this condition can be prevented," she continued.

Meanwhile, researchers at Yale University have suggested that a natural high gained from exercise could be formulated and used in medication to help people suffering from depression.

In a report in Nature Medicine, the research team stated that a drug based upon the gene VGF could be more effective than current depression treatments.

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