Depression and anxiety are common mental disorders that increase physical health risks and are leading causes of global disability. Several forms of physical fitness could be modifiable risk factors for common mental disorders in the population. We examined associations between individual and combined markers of cardiorespiratory fitness and grip strength with the incidence of common mental disorders..
Fully adjusted, longitudinal models indicated a dose-response relationship. Low and medium cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with 1.485 (95% CIs, 1.301 to 1.694, p < 0.001) and 1.141 (95% CIs, 1.005 to 1.297, p = 0.041) higher odds of depression or anxiety, compared to high cardiorespiratory fitness. Low and medium grip strength was associated with 1.381 (95% CIs, 1.315 to 1.452, p < 0.001) and 1.116 (95% CIs, 1.063 to 1.172, p < 0.001) higher odds of common mental disorder compared to high grip strength.
Individuals in the lowest group for both cardiorespiratory fitness and grip strength had 1.981 (95% CIs, 1.553 to 2.527, p < 0.001) higher odds of depression, 1.599 (95% CIs, 1.148 to 2.118, p = 0.004) higher odds of anxiety, and 1.814 (95% CIs, 1.461 to 2.252, p < 0.001) higher odds of either common mental disorder, compared to high for both types of fitness.
Objective cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness markers represent modifiable risk factors for common mental disorders. Public health strategies to reduce common mental disorders could include combinations of aerobic and resistance activities