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Elisabetta PARRA1
Alessandro ARONE1
Salvatore AMADORI1
Federico MUCCI2
Stefania PALERMO1
Donatella MARAZZITI1

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Italy
2Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Pharmacology, University of Siena, Italy
Received: 12-August-2020
Revised: 25-November-2020
Accepted: 01-December-2020
Online first: 08-December-2020


Background: Physical exercise is one of the major features of human health, as it is involved in several physiological processes and related to major benefits in reducing body fat, myocardial infarction, hypertension and insulin resistance risk. Physical exercise also plays a positive role in achieving psychological well-being that can be defined as a state of happiness and serenity, with low levels of distress, overall good physical and mental health and outlook and a good quality of life.

Aim of the paper: To review the positive effects of physical activity on psychological well-being and its possible neurobiological underpinnings, as well as its impact on several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and some neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Methods: The PubMed, Scopus, Embase, PsycINFO and Google Scholar databases were searched for full text articles published in the latest thirty years on the benefits that physical activity exerts on psychological well-being.

Objectives: This study aims to identify the common and differential elements of the DLD (SLI) and LD through a quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Results: An impressive amount of data support the positive role of physical activity on psychological well-being and a large amount of research has focused on its beneficial effects in improving the symptoms of the main neuropsychiatric disorders, while highlighting its usefulness as an adjuvant option to psychopharmacological treatments and psychotherapy. In particular, exercise would deeply affect CNS morphology and function, through heterogeneous mechanisms including, amongst the others, the production of hormones, neurotransmitters and neurotrophins, the promotion of angiogenesis and neuroplasticity, and the regulation of gene expression.

Conclusion: Literature indicates that the promotion of physical activity may work like an adjunctive and/or augmentation strategy to enhance drugs or psychological treatments, or even as an alternative option in major depression.


Key words: Physical Exercise, Well-being, Psychological Well-being, Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Neurobiology


Citation: Parra, E., Arone, A., Amadori, S., Mucci, F., Palermo, S., Marazziti, D. Impact of Physical Exercise on Psychological Well-being and Psychiatric Disorders. Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities, 2020 Dec 25; 3(2): 24-39.

Copyright ©2020 Parra, E., Arone, A., Amadori, S., Mucci, F., Palermo, S., Marazziti, D. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Corresponding address:
Federico MUCCI
Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Pharmacology,
University of Siena, – 2, via Aldo Moro – 53100 Siena, Italy

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