Using Physical Activity to Tackle Depression: The Neglected Positive Psychology Intervention


  • Louise Lambert Canadian University Dubai
  • Anisha D'Cruz
  • Melanie Schlatter
  • Fiona Barron The Happiness Hub, Dubai


positive psychology, positive psychology intervention, physical activity, depression, wellbeing, antidepressants, cognitive-behavioral therapy


The 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.


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How to Cite

Lambert, L., D’Cruz, A., Schlatter, M., & Barron, F. (2016). Using Physical Activity to Tackle Depression: The Neglected Positive Psychology Intervention. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 42–60. Retrieved from



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