Health and Fitness

Study Shows Men Who Lift Weights Have Better Mental Health

There's a connection between handgrip strength and suicidal thoughts in men.
IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK
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Exercise changes lives. There's the physical aspect, of course, but what's often overlooked is its emotional and mental benefits. A study by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine shows just how helpful working out—lifting, specifically—is.

The study reveals that muscle strength affects anxiety, depression, and more. Researchers analyzed data of almost 9,000 adults who underwent a strength test using a gripper.

Participants were then asked how many times they had suicidal thoughts in recent days with the question: "Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following problem: Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way?"

Surprisingly, the results showed that men who could grip more had decreased suicidal ideation by 16 percent. Still, the authors say the results are alarming for males younger than 65 years old.

"Males younger than 65 years old with low handgrip strength are significantly more likely to have suicidal thoughts demonstrating a dose?response relationship," the authors said. "Future research is required to confirm/refute our findings and establish if strength interventions can reduce suicidal thoughts."

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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