Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Kurt Devine MD


As most people know, exercise has always been beneficial for our overall health. No matter which exercise program it is, they all provide some sort of benefit. A growing problem has been depression as more and more people are being diagnosed. Since normally, most people would be prescribed SSRIs, I wanted to find out if there were alternative options. I sought to determine if exercise can be an alternative treatment option for depression. A comprehensive literature review was conducted using the websites PubMed, NCBI, Science Direct, & Academic Search Premier and using the search terms depression, anxiety, exercise, yoga, resistance training, cardiovascular training, and males vs females. Inclusion criteria were studies that had specific exercise programs for different groups and measured their depression or depressive symptoms. Exclusion criteria were studies that did not have a specific exercise program to their study or if the study was not measuring depressive symptoms. Specific exercise programs are a beneficial treatment option for depression. Cardiovascular exercise is the most useful in the treatment of depression. Other forms of exercise include yoga and aquatic exercise which also improve depression symptoms. Resistance training has been contradicting and cannot be proven as an alternative treatment option at this time. An implication for further work will be determining how these different forms of exercise work long-term in a younger population of individuals.


SC 11.PAS.2022.Rogers.W

Included in

Psychiatry Commons