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Thesis

The efficacy of moderate levels of exercise as a treatment for anxiety disorders

24 July 1998

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on the efficacy of exercise as a treatment for anxiety disorders. First, selected research on the relationship between 'exercise and anxiety in the general population is presented, including a discussion of moderating variables and causal mechanisms. Second, research on the relationship between exercise and anxiety reduction within anxiety disorders is presented, including the limited available research on single disorders. Third, recommendations for future research and treatment are provided. In general, there is a strong relationship between exercise and anxiety reduction, but the literature on the use of exercise as a treatment intervention for anxiety. disorders is limited and methodologically weak. However, the connection is strong enough to advocate for continued study in this area as well as for the current incorporation of exercise into treatment for the anxiety disorders or for clinical levels of anxiety within other client populations.


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