Physical Exercise and Geriatric Depression: An Opinion




depression, elderly, exercise, functionality


Depression represents a common public health problem in the world. Depression in the elderly appears to follow a vulnerability-stress model, with an interaction between individual vulnerabilities, including genetic factors, age-related cognitive and neurobiological changes, and a variety of stressful events that occur more frequently in advanced ages, such as grief, financial problems, and reduction in autonomy/functionality. In the last decades, several studies have indicated that exercise can be effective in preventing or reducing depressive symptoms, both in healthy and psychiatric populations. Due to the scientific community's interest in the efficacy and safety of physical exercise as complementary therapy for depressed elderly patients, we conduct an opinion study on the subject. Despite the researchers' efforts, in the last decades little progress has been made in verifying the efficacy of exercise in geriatric depression.

Biografia do Autor

Sergio Machado, Universidade Salgado de Oliveira

Programa de pós graduação em Ciências da Atividade Física. Universidade Salgado de Oliveira.

Diogo Monteiro, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Sport Science School of Rio Maior, Rio Maior, Portugal; Research Center in Sport, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Portugal;

PhD in Sports Science (University of Beira Interior, Portugal); Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology, with a degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Portugal). His academic/research field is linked to motivational determinants in sport and exercise and behavioral change, with a special focus on sedentary behavior, physical activity, healthy lifestyles, well-being, exercise adherence, sport dropout and persistence.

João Moutão, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Sport Science School of Rio Maior, Rio Maior, Portugal; Research Center in Sport, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Portugal;

PhD in Sports Science; Master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology; Post-Graduation degree in Strength and Conditioning, with a degree in Physical Education and Sport. Currently, he is member of the Research Center of Sport, Health and Human Development and his research field is linked to sedentary behavior, physical activity, healthy lifestyles, well-being, exercise adherence, sport dropout and persistence. 


Eric Murillo-Rodriguez, Laboratorio de Neurociencias Moleculares e Integrativas, Escuela de Medicina, División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, México

He is a Psychologist and holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, both degrees obtained by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Upon graduation, he completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Later, he held an Associate Researcher position at Cellular Physiology Institute at UNAM (Mexico City, Mexico). Next, he became Full Professor at School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Campeche (Campeche, Campeche, Mexico). Currently, he is a Full Professor at School of Medicine, Anáhuac Mayab University (Merida, Yucatan. Mexico). He is an active member of several scientific societies as well as editorial board member of various journals.

Tetsuya Yamamoto, Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Sciences, Tokushima University, Tokushima, Japan

PhD in Human Science from the Waseda University. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh and the Hiroshima University. He is an Associate Professor at Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Sciences, Tokushima University. He is also a Clinical Psychologist and a Director of Clinical Psychoinformatics Laboratory. His academic research field is linked to vulnerability assessment and intervention for depression. Using an approach based on AI, neuroendocrinology and cognitive neuroscience (e.g., machine learning, cortisol, BDNF, EEG, fMRI), he has been conducting experiments aimed at understanding the vulnerability mechanisms for depression. 

Flávia Paes, Laboratory of Neuroscience and Cognitive Therapy (LABNCT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Postgraduate Program, Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil.

Earned her PhD in the program of Psychiatry and Mental Health from the Institute of Psychiatry of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB-UFRJ). Master’s degree in Metrology from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ). Specialist in Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy from Estácio de Sá University (UNESA). Specialist in Neuropsychology (FMUSP). Specialist in Cognitive Rehabilitation (FMUSP). Graduated in Psychology from Brazilian Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (IBMR). Flávia has a private service of psychotherapeutic care, Neuropsychological Assessment and Cognitive Rehabilitation. Flávia has experience in clinical psychology, with emphasis on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Neuropsychological Assessment in adults and elderly as well as cognitive Rehabilitation for the same target public. Flávia is head of the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Cognitive Therapies of Postgraduate Program of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from Salgado de Oliveira University. In addition, Flávia is an invited researcher at the Laboratory of Panic and Respiration (IPUB/UFRJ) and at the Laboratory of Physical Activity Neuroscience of the Physical Activity Sciences Postgraduate Program (UNIVERSO).

Luis Cid, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Sport Science School of Rio Maior, Rio Maior, Portugal; Research Center in Sport, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Portugal;

PhD in Sport Sciences (December 2010); Professor at the Sport Science School of Rio Maior of the Polytechnic Institute of Santarém (since September 2004) and Senior Researcher of the Research Center in Sport, Health and Human Development (since January 2011). Currently, he is the Director of the school (since December 2018). His academic research field is linked to motivational determinants in sport, physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

João Lucas Maciel de Lima

Physical Education professional. Currently working on his Master’s degree in Physical Activity Sciences from Salgado de Oliveira University’s Post-Graduation program.


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Como Citar

Machado, S., Monteiro, D., Moutão, J., Murillo-Rodriguez, E., Yamamoto, T., Paes, F., Cid, L., & de Lima, J. L. M. (2020). Physical Exercise and Geriatric Depression: An Opinion. Revista Psicologia E Saúde, 12(1), 115–126.