J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.  2013 Mar;22(1):22-33.

Effects of an Exercise Program on Depression Symptom, Self-esteem and Stress in Adolescents: A Systematic Review

  • 1School of Nursing, Pai Chai University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, Korea University, Seoul, Korea. hksun@korea.ac.kr
  • 3Research Development Team, Korea Health Promotion Foundation, Seoul, Korea.


This study was done to investigate evidence of exercise programs as interventions to decrease depression, anxiety symptoms and stress as well as to improve physical status and self-esteem in adolescents.
A search of electronic bibliographic database of Medline Ovid, Embase, KoreaMed and NDSL etc. was carried out to identify studies of randomized controlled trials that included exercise programs for adolescent. Of 679 publications identified, 10 studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria, and all studies were used in the meta-analysis. For Quality assessment of studies, Cochrane's Risk of Bias was used.
The effectiveness of exercise therapy in adolescents showed that depression symptoms and stress decreased significantly, -0.50 (95% CI: -0.73~-0.27), -1.65 (95% CI: -3.19~-0.12) respectively, but there were some heterogeneity. Self-esteem increased 0.19 (95% CI: -0.22~0.60) due to exercise therapy but theses scores were not statistically significant.
Based on these findings, there is evidence that exercise programs in adolescents are effective in improving depression symptoms, stress, and self-esteem. Therefore, the priority task is to develop tailored exercise programs for Korean adolescents and make efficient use of these programs.


Exercise; Depression symptoms; Anxiety; Self-esteem; Stress
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