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Feeling low? Pick up that broom!
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April 23, 2008

Suffering from the blues? Well, here's a solution -- just spend 20 minutes a week cleaning your house with the vacuum cleaner or involve yourself in sports.

Mark Hamer and his colleagues at University College London [Images], who wanted to find out what benefits arise from different types of physical activity, have suggested that such activities are enough to help banish depression and anxiety.

For the study, researchers examined data from questionnaires filled in by almost 20,000 Scottish people as part of the Scottish Health Surveys, carried out every few years.

Around 3,200 people reported suffering from anxiety or depression. However those who regularly wielded the mop or the tennis racket were least likely to suffer from the blues.

Researchers found that one 20-minute session of housework or walking reduced the risk of depression by up to 20 per cent and a sporting session worked better, reducing risk by a third or more.

Hamer said that in case housework or sports fail; try to find something physical to do.

"Something -- even for just 20 minutes a week -- is better than nothing," New Scientist quoted Hamer, as saying.

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