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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of physical activity on depression risk and quality of life in men Price, Ryley Gregory


Physical activity (PA) is a key measure for preventing multiple chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and poor mental health. Specific to mental health, increased PA has been associated with a decrease in depression risk and depressive symptomology, reductions in anxiety and stress as well as improved mood and overall cognitive function. Despite the physical and mental health benefits associated with PA, men’s PA levels remain low. It has been suggested that this may be due to the inability to develop programs that consider masculine values and ideals. Many health promotion programs hold little ‘manly’ appeal and consequently fail to influence men's health promoting behaviour. Recent research has highlighted the potential for tailored, gender-sensitised programs to reach and engage men. Thus, the purpose of this research was to examine the impact of the HAT TRICK gender-sensitised PA intervention on risk of depression and quality of life (QoL) in men. HAT TRICK was a 12-week, 90-minute face to face, intervention that focused on PA, healthy eating and social connectedness in inactive and overweight men. Data were collected at baseline and at the completion of the program (12-weeks) and included PA, assessed by the Godin Leisure Time Questionnaire; Risk of Depression, assessed using the Male Depression Risk Scale; and QoL, assessed via the SF-12. Demographic and anthropometric measures were also collected. Paired samples t-tests and multiple regression were used to analyse the data. Results showed a significant increase in PA over time (p=0.000), with a mean increase of 213.86 minutes per week. There was also a significant positive change in depression risk levels over time (p=0.000), and significant improvement in QoL over time (p=0.002). The results of this thesis provide more evidence for the importance of PA interventions for men’s mental and physical health.

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