Better Mental Health in Active Bariatric Surgery Patients

New data from the LABS (Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery) study shows that with just modest physical activity, bariatric surgery patients had less anxiety or depression.

Wendy King, the lead investigator from the University of Pittsburgh, commented on the implications of this and other research:

Typically, clinical professionals manage their patients’ depression and anxiety with counseling and/or antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. Recent research has focused on physical activity as an alternative or adjunct treatment.

It could be that, in this population, important mental health benefits can be gained by simply not being sedentary.

King’s analysis showed that preoperative bariatric surgery patients with just 8 minutes or more of moderate physical activity were 92% less likely to need treatment for anxiety or depression. Just 4,750 steps per day — less than half the typical recommendation for healthy adults — reduced the risk by 81%. Participants in the study wore a small electronic physical activity monitor to measure their physical activity levels prior to bariatric surgery. The analysis accounted for demographic, social, and physical health factors. The study included 850 adults seeking bariatric surgery at 10 different hospitals across the United States.

Click here to read more at psychcentral,com and here to access the study.

Walking Each Other, image © Thang Nguyen / Wikimedia

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