Physical skill acquisition lessens depression and fatigue

December 18th, 2009  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  4 Comments

Physical activity is known to reduce depression and fatigue in people struggling with chronic illness. A new study indicates that this effect may stem from an individual’s sense of mastery over — or belief in his or her ability to achieve — certain physical goals.

Says the lead researcher, “The relationship between physical activity and reductions in fatigue in breast-cancer survivors and people with MS can be explained in part by the effect of physical activity on mastery experiences… That sense of accomplishment, or situation-specific self-confidence, serves to reduce depression, which in turn reduces fatigue.”

Full story

The lesson: Pursue skill and productive self-mastery through activity, not an abstract “perfection” or “fixing yourself”.


  1. April says:

    December 20th, 2009at 11:18 am(#)

    This must be why I feel uberfantastic after a good BJJ class even if I felt like the walking dead before class.

  2. Sharon from Penn State says:

    December 21st, 2009at 8:41 am(#)

    I wonder if this could include hand-dexterity skills such as knitting or jewelry making- two things that make me very happy.

  3. Mistress Krista says:

    December 21st, 2009at 8:54 am(#)

    I think any observable skill acquisition would probably be useful. Self-esteem is closely tied to skill mastery (mistressy?).

  4. Lee says:

    December 22nd, 2009at 3:24 pm(#)

    I have MS and can tell you that since i kicked up my work out and starting lifting again, I feel fabulous. I have my legs back, for a while, they were not mine, weird but they’re back.
    thanks to squats, the mother of all exercises!!!!!!!
    love this site.

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