Strength training helps combat excessive symptoms of anxiety and worry in young adults

This study quantifies the effects of resistance training on anxiety and worry symptoms in young adults. Young adults who did not meet criteria for presenting clinical disease were randomized to an eight-week strength training group or an eight-week control group. The study then examined the differences in anxiety and worry of individual participants from the two groups over time, as measured by a standardized scale used for these symptoms.

The strength training program was developed according to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine. A statistical tool was then used to quantify the magnitude of the differences in change between the two groups. Twenty-eight participants (64% female) fully participated in the study (mean age: 26.0± 6.2 years), strength training: n= 14; control group: n= 14). Significant differences in anxiety symptomatology were found between the two groups, which increased over time. In contrast, no significant correlation was found for the symptomatology of worry.

CONCLUSION: Strength training significantly improves anxiety symptoms in young adults aged 18-32 years.

A randomized controlled trial.
Authors: Brett R. Gordon, Cillian P. McDowell, Mark Lyons & Matthew P. Herring
Published in nature research 2020