Yulin Chu, N.P.
Million years ago, walking on two legs was a key attribute to human being development that distinguished itself from animals. Since then, we have been getting many benefits from walking. Is walking also beneficial to human’s mood? Can one improve depressed mood by walking? Many evidences suggest that physical activity/walking is a protective factor against depression (Brown et al., 2012; Robertson, R., Robertson, A., Jepson, & Maxwell, 2012). Physically active people often demonstrate lower rate of depressed mood than people with sedentary lifestyle and less engagement in physical activity (Middleton & Yaffe, 2009).Since depression is the most frequent cause of emotional suffering in late life and significantly decreases quality of life in old adults (Blazer, 2003), it is necessary to develop and implement a protocol for nurse practitioners to manage depression in geriatric-psychiatric patients by prescribing regular walking to improve patient outcomes. It is important to analyze clinical and pathological aspects of walking as a protective factor against depression in late life.
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Middleton, L., & Yaffe, K. (2009). Promising strategies for the prevention of dementia. Archives of Neurology, 66(10): 1210-1215. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.201
Robertson, R., Robertson, A., Jepson, R., & Maxwell, M. (2012). Walking for depression or depressive symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5, 66-75. doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2012.03.002