Metas de Enfermería

Metas de Enfermería

JUNIO 2011 N° 5 Volumen 14

Physical activity and mental health, an inseparable duet?

Section: Health and quality of life

How to quote

Iriarte Ramos S et ál. Actividad física y salud mental ¿dúo inseparable?. Metas de Enferm jun 2011; 14(5): 64-69


1Sonia Iriarte Ramos, 2María Victoria Pérez Torralba, 3Ana Isabel Sanz Gómez, 2Ana Carmen Zaera Alquézar, 2Marta Charlo Bernardos


1Enfermera. Máster Oficial Interuniversitario en Ciencias de la Enfermería (MICCE) y Máster Oficial en Gerontología Social. Hospital Nuestr

Contact address

Sonia Iriarte Ramos. Hospital Nuestra Señora de Gracia. C/ Ramón y Cajal, 60. 50004 Zaragoza.

Contact email: ssonirr@yahoo.es


The interrelationship between mind and body has been subject of discussion and study among philosophers and psychologists throughout history. The potential capacity of physical exercise on mental health is known; however, this correlation has not been demonstrated sufficiently.
Objective: the objective of this work was to analyse the available knowledge on the effect of physical activity on mental health and the possible explanation to this relationship.
Methodology: a review of articles published in scientific journals was carried out using the pair review method, databases (Pubmed, Dialnet) and human resources (Google, Scielo). The following tag words in Spanish and English were used in the search: “physical exercise”, “physical activity”, “mental health”, “anxiety” and “depression”. The search was not temporarily limited in time. The selection of articles took into account that the Works had to be originals available both as free full text in English and Spanish. Data was gathered on the effects of exercise on mental health as well as on the hypothesis proposed to exclude such relationship.
Results and conclusions: the practice of regular physical exercise presents physical as well as psychological benefits that are positive for mental health and human quality of life. This appears to be organically explained by the changes that exercise produces in the brain. Physical exercise is related to less anxiety, with protection against depression and with the relief of its symptoms, with preservation of cognitive function and improvement of self-esteem, motivation, self-control and self-efficiency.


anxiety; depression; Mental Health; physical activity; physical exercise; review

Versión en Español


Actividad física y salud mental ¿dúo inseparable?