Using Physical Activity to Tackle Depression: The Neglected Positive Psychology Intervention
Keywords:positive psychology, positive psychology intervention, physical activity, depression, wellbeing, antidepressants, cognitive-behavioral therapy
AbstractThe treatment of depression has primarily been tackled through pharmaceuticals and cognitive interventions designed to reduce negative emotional states. This traditional psychology approach has had some success in reducing depressive symptoms but does not offer clients any understanding of how to explicitly achieve a state of wellbeing. In contrast, positive psychology promotes interventions that teach people how to build positive emotional states, as well as decrease negative ones. In this paper, we advocate for physical activity to be included as a positive psychology intervention both to treat and prevent depression as its effectiveness has been documented. We further encourage practitioners to include physical activity in their treatment plan recommendations as it targets many aspects of mental and physical wellbeing and conclude with recommendations for practitioners and policy makers in the United Arab Emirates.
Al-Hazzaa, H. M., & Musaiger, A. O. (2011). Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS): Objectives, design, methodology and implications. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 4, 417-426.
Al Zaabi, M., Shah, S. M., Sheek-Hussein, M., Abdulle, A., Al Junaibi, A. A., & Loney, T. (2016). Results from the United Arab Emirates' 2016 report card on physical activity for children and youth. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 13(11, Suppl. 2), S299-S306.
Albert, P. R., & Benkelfat, C. (2013). The neurobiology of depression—revisiting the serotonin hypothesis. II. Genetic, epigenetic and clinical studies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1615), 20120535.
Baardseth, T. P., Goldberg, S. B., Pace, B. T., Wislocki, A. P., Frost, N. D., Siddiqui, J. R., … Wampold, B. E. (2013). Cognitive-behavioral therapy versus other therapies: Redux. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(3), 395–405.
Babyak, M., Blumenthal, J. A., Herman, S., Khatri, P., Doraiswamy, M., Moore, K., … Krishnan, K. R. (2000). Exercise treatment for major depression: Maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62(5), 633-638.
Barnett, F. (2013). The effect of exercise on affective and self-efficacy responses in older and younger women. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 10(1), 97-105.
Barron, F. (2015). The correlation of physical activity and mindfulness with depression in international schools in the UAE (Masters’ thesis). United Arab Emirates University. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/all_theses/11
Becofsky, K. M., Sui, X., Lee, D., Wilcox, S., Zhang, J., & Blair, S. N. (2015). A prospective study of fitness, fatness, and depressive symptoms. American Journal of Epidemiology, 181(5), 311–320.
Beltman, M. W., Oude Voshaar, R. C., & Speckens, A. E. (2010). Cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression in people with a somatic disease: Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 197, 11–19.
Biddle, S. J. H., Mutrie, N., & Gorely, T. (2015). Psychology of physical activity: Determinants, well-being and interventions (3rd Edition). London, England: Routledge.
Blumenthal, J., Babyak, M. A., Moore, K. A., Craighead, W. E., Herman, S., Khatri, P., … Krishnan, K. R. (1999). Effects of exercise training on older patients with major depression. Archives of Internal Medicine, 159(19), 2349-2356.
Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak, M. A., Murali Doraiswamy, P., Watkins, L., Hoffman, B. M., Barbour, K. A., … Sherwood, A. (2007). Exercise and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69(7), 587–596.
Blumenthal, J. A., Smith, P. J., & Hoffman, B. M. (2012). Is exercise a viable treatment for depression? ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 16(4), 14–21.
Bombak, A. (2014). Obesity, health at every size, and public health policy. American Journal of Public Health, 104(2), e60–e67.
Booth, F. W., Roberts, C. K., & Laye, M. J. (2012). Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases. Comprehensive Physiology, 2(2), 1143–1211.
Bower, J., Moskowitz, J., & Epel, E. (2009). Is benefit finding good for your health? Pathways linking positive life changes after stress and physical health outcomes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 337–341.
Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (2006). Savoring: A new model of positive experience. Mahwah, USA: Erlbaum.
Chaouloff, F. (1997). The serotonin hypothesis. In W. P. Morgan (Ed.), Physical activity and mental health (pp. 179–198). Washington, USA: Taylor & Francis.
Charney, D. S. (1998). Monoamine dysfunction and the pathophysiology and treatment of depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 59(Suppl. 14), 11–14.
Cleare, A., Pariante, C., Young, A., Anderson, I., Christmas, D., Cowen, P., … Uher, R. (2015). Evidence-based guidelines for treating depressive disorders with antidepressants: A revision of the 2008 British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29(5), 459e525.
Conner, M., Rhodes, R. E., Morris, B., McEachan, R., & Lawton, R. (2011). Changing exercise through targeting affective or cognitive attitudes. Psychology & Health, 26(2), 133-149.
Conrad, C. D. (2008). Chronic stress-induced hippocampal vulnerability: The glucocorticoid vulnerability hypothesis. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 19(6), 395–411.
Cooney, G. M., Dwan, K., Greig, C. A., Lawlor, D. A., Rimer, J., Waugh, F. R., … Mead, G. E. (2013). Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 9, Article No. CD004366.
Cowen, P. J. (2008). Serotonin and depression: Pathophysiological mechanism or marketing myth? Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 29(9), 433-436.
Cowen, P. J., & Browning, M. (2015). What has serotonin to do with depression? World Psychiatry, 14(2), 158–160.
Davies, C. A., Vandelanotte, C., Duncan, M. J., & van Uffelen, J. G. (2012). Associations of physical activity and screen-time on health related quality of life in adults. Preventive Medicine, 55(1), 46–49.
Davison, G., Fawad, S., Nevill, A., Boreham, C., McClean, C., & Petherbridge, S. (2014). Effects of physical activity in an overweight Emirati school-based male population: A preliminary investigation. Hamdan Medical Journal, 6(3), 377-384.
Dolan, P., Kavetsos, G., & Vlaev, I. (2013). The happiness workout. Social Indicators Research, 119(3), 1363-1377.
Dranovsky, A., & Hen, R. (2006). Hippocampal neurogenesis: Regulation by stress and antidepressants. Biological Psychiatry, 59(12), 1136–1143.
Dubai Health Authority. (2010). Dubai Household Health Survey 2009: Preliminary summary of results related to exercise and physical activity (November 29 2010). Dubai, UAE: Dubai Government. Retrieved from Dubai Statistics Center, www.dsc.gov.ae
Dubai Health Authority. (2011). Dubai Household Health Survey 2009: Preliminary summary of results related to depression symptoms (February 2 2011). Dubai, UAE: Dubai Government. Retrieved from Dubai Statistics Center, www.dsc.gov.ae
Duckworth, A. L., Steen, T. A., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Positive psychology in clinical practice. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 629-651.
Dun, S. (2016). Role models in the media and women’s sport participation in Qatar. NIDABA: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle East Studies, 1(1), 48-58.
Durstine, J. L, Gordon, B., Wang, Z., & Luo, X. (2013). Chronic disease and the link to physical activity. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2, 3–11.
Ekkekakis, P. (2015). Honey, I shrunk the pooled SMD! Guide to critical appraisal of systematic reviews and meta-analyses using the Cochrane review on exercise for depression as example. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 8, 21–36.
Ekkekakis, P., Hargreaves, E. A., & Parfitt, G. (2013). Invited guest editorial: Envisioning the next fifty years of research on the exercise-affect relationship. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14, 751-758.
Elavsky, S. (2010). Longitudinal examination of the exercise and self-esteem model in middle-aged women. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 32(6), 862–880.
Elavsky, S., McAuley, E., Motl, R. W., Konopack, J. F., Marquez, D. X., Hu, L., … Diener, E. (2005). Physical activity enhances long-term quality of life in older adults: Efficacy, esteem and affective influences. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 30, 138-145.
Fabel, K., & Kempermann, G. (2008). Physical activity and the regulation of neurogenesis in the adult and aging brain. Neuromolecular Medicine, 10(2), 59-66.
Faulkner, G., Hefferon, K., & Mutrie, N. (2015). Positive psychology in motion. In S. Joseph (Ed), Positive psychology in practice (2nd ed., pp. 207-221). Hoboken, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Foo, L. L., Vijaya, K., Sloan, R. A., & Ling, A. (2013). Obesity prevention and management: Singapore's experience. Obesity Reviews, 14(S2), 106–113.
Fournier, J. C., DeRubeis, R. J., Hollon, S. D., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J. D., Shelton, R. C., & Fawcett, J. (2010). Antidepressant drug effects and depression severity: A patient-level meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(1), 47–53.
Fredrickson, B., Mancuso, R., Branigan, C., & Tugade, M. (2000). The undoing effect of positive emotions. Motivation and Emotion, 24, 237–258.
Gallegos-Carrillo, K., Flores, Y. N., Denova-Gutierrez, E., Mendez-Hernandez, P., Dosamantes-Carrasco, L. D., Henao-Moran, S., & Salmeron, J. (2013). Physical activity and reduced risk of depression: Results of a longitudinal study of Mexican adults. Health Psychology, 32(6), 609-615.
Garcia, D., & Archer, T. (2014). Positive affect and age as predictors of exercise compliance. PeerJ, 2, e694.
Gerber, M., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Pühse, U., & Brand, S. (2016). Exercise is medicine for patients with major depressive disorders: But only if the "pill" is taken! Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12, 1977-1981.
Ghubash, R., El-Rufaie, O., Zoubeidi, T., Al-Shboul, Q. M., & Sabri, S. M. (2004). Profile of mental disorders among the elderly United Arab Emirates population: Sociodemographic correlates. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 344-351.
Giacobbi, P. R., Hausenblas, H. A., & Frye, N. (2005). A naturalistic assessment of the relationship between personality, daily life events, leisure-time exercise, and mood. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6, 67-81.
Gibson, K., Cartwright, C., & Read, J. (2016). “In my life antidepressants have been…”: A qualitative analysis of users’ diverse experiences with antidepressants. BMC Psychiatry, 16, 135.
Greenwood, B. N., & Fleshner, M. (2011). Exercise, stress resistance, and central serotonergic systems. Exercise & Sport Sciences Reviews, 39(3), 140-149.
Hamer, M., Stamatakis, E., & Mishra, G. (2010). Television and screen-based activity and mental well-being in adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38, 375-380.
Haroun, D., ElSaleh, O., & Wood, L. (2016). Dietary and activity habits in adolescents living in the United Arab Emirates: A cross-sectional study. Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise, 1(2), 119-141.
Hébert, E. T., Caughy, M. O., & Shuval, K. (2012). Primary care providers’ perceptions of physical activity counselling in a clinical setting: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(9), 625-631.
Hefferon, K., Mallery, R., Gay, C., & Elliott, S. (2012). “Leave all the troubles of the outside world”: A qualitative study on the binary benefits of “Boxercise” for individuals with mental health difficulties. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 5, 80–102.
Hefferon, K., & Mutrie, N. (2012). Physical activity as a “stellar” positive psychology intervention. In E. O. Acevedo (Ed.), Oxford handbook of exercise psychology (pp.117-128). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hoffman, B. M., Babyak, M. A., Craighead, W. E., Sherwood, A., Doraiswamy, P. M., Coons, M. J., & Blumenthal, J. A. (2011). Exercise and pharmacotherapy in patients with major depression: One-year follow-up of the SMILE Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73(2), 127–133.
Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(5), 427–440.
Hogan, C. L., Catalino, L. I., Mata, J., & Fredrickson, B. (2015). Beyond emotional benefits: Physical activity and sedentary behavior affect psychosocial resources through emotions. Psychology & Health, 30, 354-369.
Hötting, K., & Röder, B. (2013). Beneficial effects of physical exercise on neuroplasticity and cognition. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 37(9, Part B), 2243–2257.
Huang, C.-J., Webb, H. E., Zourdos, M. C., & Acevedo, E. O. (2013). Cardiovascular reactivity, stress, and physical activity. Frontiers in Physiology, 4, 314.
Huang, H., & Humphreys, B. (2012). Sports participation and happiness: Evidence from US microdata. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(4), 776-793.
Huffman, J. C., Mastromauro, C. A., Boehm, J. K., Seabrook, R., Fricchione, G. L., Denninger, J. W., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2011). Development of a positive psychology intervention for patients with acute cardiovascular disease. Heart International, 6(2), e14.
Hunsley, J., Elliott, K., & Therrien, Z. (2014). The efficacy and effectiveness of psychological treatments for mood, anxiety, and related disorders. Canadian Psychology, 55(3), 161-176.
Hyde, A. L., Maher, J. P., & Elavsky, S. (2013). Enhancing our understanding of physical activity and wellbeing with a lifespan perspective. International Journal of Wellbeing, 3(1), 98-115.
International Diabetes Federation. (2015). United Arab Emirates. Retrieved from http://www.idf.org/membership/mena/united-arab-emirates?language=fr
Johnson, D. P., Penn, D. L., Fredrickson, B. L., Kring, A. M., Meyer, P. S., Catalino, L. I., & Brantley, M. (2011). A pilot study of loving-kindness meditation for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 129, 137-140.
Josefsson, T., Lindwall, M., & Archer, T. (2014). Physical exercise intervention in depressive disorders: Meta-analysis and systematic review. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 24(2), 259–272.
Kahler, C. W., Spillane, N. S., Day, A., Clerkin, E., Parks, A., Leventhal, A. M., & Brown, R. A. (2014). Positive psychotherapy for smoking cessation: Treatment development, feasibility and preliminary results. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(1), 19–29.
Karwoski, L., Garratt, G., & Ilardi, S. (2006). On the integration of positive psychology with cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 20, 159–170.
Keyes, C. L. M. (2005). Mental illness and/or mental health? Investigating axioms of the complete state model of health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 539–548.
Keyes, C. L. M. (2010). The next steps in the promotion and protection of positive mental health. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 42(3), 17-28.
Keyes, C. L. M., Dhingra, S. S., & Simoes, E. J. (2010). Change in level of positive mental health as a predictor of future risk of mental illness. American Journal of Public Health, 100(12), 2366-2371.
Kimiecik, J. (2002). The intrinsic exerciser: Discovering the joy of exercise. Boston, USA: Houghton Mifflin.
Kimiecik, J., & Newburg, D. (2009). Runner as hero: The inner quest of becoming a runner or athlete or just about anything…at any age. Lanham, USA: University Press of America.
Kirsch, I. (2014). Antidepressants and the placebo effect. Zeitschrift Fur Psychologie, 222(3), 128–134.
Kohl, H., Craig, C., Lambert, E., Inoue, S., Alkandari, J., Leetongin, G., … Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. (2012). The pandemic of physical inactivity: Global action for public health. The Lancet, 380, 294–305.
Krämer, L., Helmes, A. W., & Bengel, J. (2014). Understanding activity limitations in depression: Integrating the concepts of motivation and volition from health psychology into clinical psychology. European Psychology, 19(4), 278–288.
Krämer, L. V., Helmes, A. W., Seelig, H., Fuchs, R., & Bengel, J. (2014). Correlates of reduced exercise behaviour in depression: The role of motivational and volitional deficits. Psychology & Health, 29(10), 1206–1225.
Krogh, J., Nordentoft, M., Sterne, J. A., & Lawlor, D. A. (2011). The effect of exercise in clinically depressed adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 72(4), 529–538.
Lambert, L., Pasha-Zaidi, N., Passmore, H.-A., & York Al-Karam, C. (2015). Developing an indigenous positive psychology in the United Arab Emirates. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(1), 1-23.
Lambert D'raven, L., & Pasha-Zaidi, N. (2014). Positive psychology interventions: A review for counselling practitioners. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48(4), 383-408.
Lawlor, D. A., & Hopker, S. W. (2001). The effectiveness of exercise as an intervention in the management of depression: Systematic review and meta-regression analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 322(7289), 763.
Linley, P., Joseph, S., Harrington, S., & Wood, A. (2006). Positive psychology: Past, present, and (possible) future. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(1), 3-16.
Loney, T., Aw, T.-C., Handysides, D. G., Ali, R., Blair, I., Grivna, M., … El-Obaid, Y. (2013). An analysis of the health status of the United Arab Emirates: The “Big 4” public health issues. Global Health Action, 6, 10.3402/gha.v6i0.20100.
Lucassen, P. J., Meerlo, P., Naylor, A. S., van Dam, A. M., Dayer, A. G., Fuchs, E., ... Czéh, B. (2010). Regulation of adult neurogenesis by stress, sleep disruption, exercise and inflammation: Implications for depression and antidepressant action. European Neuropsycho-Pharmacology, 20(1), 1-17.
Mabry, R. M., Reeves, M. M., Eakin, E. G., & Owen, N. (2010). Evidence of physical activity participation among men and women in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council: A review. Obesity Review, 11(6), 457–464.
Mammen, G., & Faulkner, G. (2013). Physical activity and the prevention of depression: A systematic review of prospective studies. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 45, 649-657.
Mann, J. J. (2013). The serotonergic system in mood disorders and suicidal behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1615), 20120537.
McAuley, E., Elavsky, S., Jerome, G. J., Konopack, J. F., & Marquez, D. X. (2005). Physical activity-related well-being in older adults: Social cognitive influences. Psychology and Aging, 20, 295-302.
Meyer, P. S., Johnson, D. P., Parks, A., Iwanski, C., & Penn, D. L. (2012). Positive living: A pilot study of group positive psychotherapy for people with schizophrenia. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(3), 239–248.
Mokdad, A. H., Jaber, S., Aziz, M. I. A., Al Buhairan, F., Al Ghaithi, A., Al Hamad, N. M., … Murray, C. J. (2014). The state of health in the Arab world, 1990—2010: An analysis of the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. The Lancet, 383(9914), 309–320.
Moselhy, H. F., Ghubach, R., El-Rufaie, O., Zoubeidi, T., Badrinath, P., Sabri, S., & Yousef, S. (2012). The association of depression and anxiety with unhealthy lifestyle among United Arab Emirates adults. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 21(2), 213–219.
Mutrie, N., & Faulkner, G. (2004). Physical activity: Positive psychology in motion. In A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 146-164). Hoboken, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Ng, M., Fleming, T., Robinson, M., Thompson, B., Graetz, N., Margono, C., … Gakidou, E. (2014). Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet, 384(9945), 766-781.
Ng, S. W., Zaghloul, S., Ali, H., Harrison, G., Yeatts, K., El Sadig, M., & Popkin, B. M. (2011). Nutrition transition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(12), 1328–1337.
Nokia, M. S., Lensu, S., Ahtiainen, J. P., Johansson, P. P., Koch, L. G., Britton, S. L., & Kainulainen, H. (2016). Physical exercise increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in male rats provided it is aerobic and sustained. The Journal of Physiology, 594(7), 1855–1873.
Nunan, D. (2016 May 5). Doctors should be able to prescribe exercise like a drug. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 353, i2468. Retrieved from http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2468
Nunan, D., Mahtani, K. R., Roberts, N., & Heneghan, C. (2013). Physical activity for the prevention and treatment of major chronic disease: An overview of systematic reviews. Systematic Reviews, 2, 56.
Oaten, M., & Cheng, K. (2006). Longitudinal gains in self-regulation from physical exercise. British Journal of Health Psychology, 11(4), 717–733.
Paffenbarger, R. S., Jr., Lee, I. M., & Leung, R. (1994). Physical activity and personal characteristics with depression and suicide in American college men. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplement, 377, 16-22.
Privitera, G. J., Antonelli, D. E., & Szal, A. L. (2014). An enjoyable distraction during exercise augments the positive effects of exercise on mood. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 13(2), 266–270.
Rana, K. S., Arif, M., Hill, E. J., Aldred, S., Nagel, D. A., Nevill, A., … Brown, J. E. (2014). Plasma irisin levels predict telomere length in healthy adults. Age, 36(2), 995–1001.
Rao, M. A., Donaldson, S. I., & Doiron, K. M. (2015). Positive psychology research in the Middle East and North Africa. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(1), 60-76.
Reed, J. (2013). Effect of acute and regular aerobic physical activity on positive activated affect. In P. Ekkekakis (Ed.), Routledge handbook of physical activity and mental health (pp. 413–421). Abingdon, England: Routledge.
Reed, J., & Buck, S. (2009). The effect of regular aerobic exercise on positive activated affect: A meta-analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 581–594.
Reed, J., & Ones, D. (2006). The effect of acute aerobic exercise on positive activated affect: A meta-analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7, 477–514.
Rethorst, C. D., Wipfli, B. M., & Landers, D. M. (2009). The antidepressive effects of exercise: A meta-analysis of randomized trials. Sports Medicine, 39(6), 491-511.
Rothon, C., Edwards, P., Bhui., Viner, R., Taylor, S., & Stansfeld, S. (2010). Physical activity and depressive symptoms in adolescents: A prospective study. BMC Medicine, 8, 32.
Rubak, S., Sandbæk, A., Lauritzen, T., & Christensen, B. (2005). Motivational interviewing: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of General Practice, 55(513), 305-312.
Sanchez-Villegas, A., Ara, I., Guillen-Grima, F., Bes-Rastrollo, M., Varo-Cenarruzabeitia, J. J., & Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A. (2008). Physical activity, sedentary index, and mental disorders in the SUN cohort study. Medicine in Science and Sports and Exercise, 40, 827–834.
Schmidt, C. K., Raque-Bogdan, T. L., Piontkowski, S., & Schaefer, K. L. (2011). Putting the positive in health psychology: A content analysis of three journals. Journal of Health Psychology, 16(4), 607–620.
Schuch, F. B., Vancampfort, D., Richards, J., Rosenbaum, S., Ward, P. B., & Stubbs, B. (2016). Exercise as a treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 77, 42-51.
Schuch, F. B., Vancampfort, D., Sui, X., Rosenbaum, S., Firth, J., Richards, J., … Stubbs, B. (2016). Are lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness associated with incident depression? A systematic review of prospective cohort studies. Preventive Medicine, 93, 159-165.
Schueller, S. M. (2010). Preferences for positive psychology exercises. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(3), 192-203.
Schueller, S. M.., Kashdan, T. B., & Parks, A. C., (2014). Synthesizing positive psychological interventions: Suggestions for conducting and interpreting meta-analyses. International Journal of Wellbeing, 4(1), 91-98.
Searle, A., Calnan, M., Turner, K., Lawlor, D. A., Campbell, J., Chalder, M., & Lewis, G. (2012). General Practitioners’ beliefs about physical activity for managing depression in primary care. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5, 13-19.
Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14.
Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A. (2006). Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61(8), 774-788.
Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421.
Sin, N., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice-friendly meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 65(5), 467-487.
Smith, D., Dempster, C., Glanville, J., Feemantle, N., & Anderson, I. (2002). Efficacy and tolerability of venlafaxine compared with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and other antidepresssants: A meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 180, 396–404.
Stathi, A., Fox, K. R., & McKenna, J. (2002). Physical activity and dimensions of subjective well-being in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 10, 76-92.
Steger, M. F., Kashdan, T. B., Sullivan, B. A., & Lorentz, D. (2008). Understanding the search for meaning in life: Personality, cognitive style, and the dynamic between seeking and experiencing meaning. Journal of Personality, 76, 199-228.
Stockmeier, C. A. (2003). Involvement of serotonin in depression: Evidence from postmortem and imaging studies of serotonin receptors and the serotonin transporter. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 37(5), 357–373.
Strawbridge, W. J., Deleger, S., Roberts, R. E., & Kaplan, G. A. (2002). Physical activity reduces the risk of subsequent depression for older adults. American Journal of Epidemiology, 156(4), 328-334.
Szuhany, K. L., Bugatti, M., & Otto, M. W. (2014). A meta-analytic review of the effects of exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 60C, 56–64.
Teychenne, M., Ball, K., & Salmon, J. (2008). Physical activity, sedentary behavior and depression among disadvantaged women. Preventive Medicine, 46(5), 397-411.
The National. (2016, October 31). Reading during working hours: Sheikh Mohammed reveals details on ‘unprecedented’ new law. Retrieved from www.thenational.ae/uae/reading-during-working-hours-sheikh-mohammed-reveals-details-on-unprecedented-new-law
The UAE National Diabetes Committee. (2009). National diabetes guidelines: United Arab Emirates 2009. Abu Dhabi, UAE: The UAE National Diabetes Committee.
Trivedi, M. H., & Daly, E. J. (2008). Treatment strategies to improve and sustain remission in major depressive disorder. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 10(4), 377–384.
Vallance, J. K., Winkler, E. A., Gardiner, P. A., Healy, G. N., Lynch, B. M., & Owen, N. (2011). Associations of objectively-assessed physical activity and sedentary time with depression: NHANES (2005-2006). Preventive Medicine, 53(4-5), 284-288.
Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2011, April). Positive psychology: Reflecting on the past and projecting into the future. InPsych, Australian Psychological Society, 33(2). Retrieved from www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/2011/april/vella-brodrick/
Von Haaren, B., Ottenbacher, J., Muenz, J., Neumann, R., Boes, K., & Ebner-Priemer, U. (2016). Does a 20-week aerobic exercise training programme increase our capabilities to buffer real-life stressors? A randomized, controlled trial using ambulatory assessment. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 116(2), 383-394.
Wampold, B. E., Flückiger, C., Del Re, A. C., Yulish, N. E., Frost, N. D., Pace, B. T., … Hilsenroth, M. J. (2017). In pursuit of truth: A critical examination of meta-analyses of cognitive behavior therapy. Psychotherapy Research, 27(1), 14-32.
Warring, W. S. (2012). Clinical use of antidepressant therapy and associated cardiovascular risk. Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety, 4, 93-101.
Weir, K. (2011). The exercise effect. Monitor on Psychology, 42(11), 48.
Welch, A. S., Hulley, A., & Beauchamp, M. R. (2010). Affect and self-efficacy responses during moderate-intensity exercise among low-active women: The effect of cognitive appraisal. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 32, 154–175.
Woods, C. B., & Mutrie, N. (2012). Putting physical activity on the policy agenda. Quest, 64, 92–104.
World Health Organization (WHO). (2016). Depression: Fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
Yammine, K. (2016). The prevalence of physical activity among the young population of UAE: A meta-analysis. Perspectives in Public Health, doi: 10.1177/1757913916675388