Organizations continue to prioritize the mental health of their employees. During several recent conversations about employee mental health, Wellable realized that few people knew about the connection that exercise and obesity have with depression. Below are a few statistics that should help in highlighting the connection and put greater emphasis on physical activity and nutrition improvements as solutions to improve the mental health of employees.

  • The findings from a recent study based on 11,000 adults ages 23 to 50 correlate with previous research suggesting that exercise can have a powerful effect on depression.
  • According to U.S. health officials, depression and obesity tend to go hand in hand. “The combination was so common that 43% of depressed adults were also obese…That association was even more prevalent among those taking antidepressants: 55% of those patients were also obese.”
  • Researchers have shown that the as severity of depression increases so does the odds of being obese.
  • “In addition, gender and race played a role in the connection between obesity and depression. According to the report, women suffering from depression were more likely to be obese than women who were not depressed, no matter the age group.”
  • Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily is associated with higher mental well-being — as much as not smoking, according to a recent study by British researchers.

Depression and other mental health issues cannot be completely cured by physical activity and proper nutrition, but embracing a wellness program that engages the vast majority of your employees in their health is a great place to start.

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