Anxiety disorders, which typically develop early in a person's life, are estimated to affect approximately 10% of the world's population and appears to be twice as common in females compared to males.
A study which spanned for more than two decades observing 400,000 people identified a noticeable difference in exercise performance level and the risk of developing anxiety between males and females. The group with a more physically active lifestyle had an almost 60% lower risk of developing anxiety disorders over a follow-up period of up to 21 years.
Exercise has long been prescribed to those who struggle with their mental health and this research reinforces the notion that it can also be used in the management of anxiety disorders, not just depression and mental illness.
Svensson, M. et al. (2021). Physical activity is associated with lower long-term incidence of anxiety in a population-based, large-scale study. Frontiers Psychiatry. 714014.