The Effect of Eight Weeks of Exercise in Water on the Levels of Stress, Anxiety and Depression of Elderly Men

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Physical Education, Gachsaran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gachsaran, Iran.


Introduction: Nowadays, the trend of dramatic growth in the aging population and its relation with mental disorders is on the rise. In this vein, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of eight weeks of exercise in water on the levels of stress, anxiety and depression of elderly men in Gachsaran city. Methods: In this semi-experimental study, 30 male volunteers with a mean age of 66 ± 0.5 years, who met the inclusion criteria of the study, were randomly selected and assigned into two control and experimental groups of 15 subjects. The experimental group performed the selected exercises in water in accordance with the planned protocol, and the control group just performed their daily routine activities during this period. Running pretest and post-test, stress (GHQ questionnaire), anxiety (Cattle’s questionnaire) and depression (Beck’s questionnaire) were measured in both groups. To analyze the findings, analysis of covariance was employed using SPSS software (version 21) (p≤0.05). Results: Exercise in water had a significant effect on stress components such as reduction of physical symptoms, anxiety symptoms and symptoms of depression and an increase in symptoms of social action compared to control group (p≤0.05), exercise in water had a significant effect on anxiety reduction compared to control group (p≤0.05) Also, exercise in water had a significant effect on depression reduction compared to control group (p≤0.05). Conclusion: Regarding the results of this study, it seems that exercise in water reduces anxiety and depression and some stress factors in elderly people.


  1. Mohammadzadeh M, Ashtari M, Rahnama N. Comparison of effects of two type physical activity in water on the health related factors in old women (60-75 years). JRRS. 2014; 10 (4): 559- 568.
  2. Kochaki G, Hojjati H, Sanagoo A. The relationship between loneliness and life satisfaction of the elderly in Gorgan and Gonbad cities. JGBFNM. 2012; 9 (1): 61- 68.
  3. Nabevi S. The study of catariya yoga on depression of elders in elder center of Tehran Farzanegan. Tehran: Islamic Azad University, breach science & research. 2013.
  4. Torabi F, Farahani A, Arbabi A. The effects of weekly response related to the number of training sessions on psychological factors and memory of sedentary elderly. JMLM. 2017; 8 (4): 683- 698.
  5. Hekmati poor N, Hojati H, Shariffniea SH, Akhondzadeh G, Nikjoo A, Mirabolhosseini M. Effect of exercise on depression in elderly. Iran JHEHP. 2013; 1 (3): 23- 32.
  6. Fathi K, Ghorbani F, Heidarimoghadam R, Mojtahedi H. Effect of 6 week aerobic step training on cardiovascular fitness, body composition, flexibility, anaerobic power and quality of life of female students of isfahan university. J Ergon. 2014; 2 (2): 29- 37.
  7. Delfan B, Armanfar S, Armanfar M. Effect of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on anxiety and, blood cortisol secretion rate of young wrestlers. Yafte J. 2013; 15 (3): 15- 21.
  8. Irandoust K, Taheri M, Seghatoleslami A. Comparing the effectiveness of water-based exercises and Yoga on memory and dynamic balance of elder people. JMLM. 2015; 6 (4): 463- 473.
  9. Mokhtari M, Nezakatalhossaini M, Esfarjani F. The effect of 12-week pilates exercises on depression and balance associated with falling in the elderly. Procedia Social Behav Sci. 2013; 70: 1714- 1723.
  10. Walker JM, Klakotskaia D, Ajit D, Weisman G, Wood WG, Sun GY, et al. Beneficial effects of dietary egg and voluntary exercise on behavior in an alzheimer's disease mouse model. J Alzheimer's Dis. 2015; 44 (2): 561- 572.
  11. Donohue B. Examination of psychiatric symptom in student athletes. J Gen Psycho. 2004; 131 (1): 29- 36.
  12. Moore MJ, Werch Ch. Relationship between vigorous exercise frequency and substance use among first-year drinking college students. J Am Coll Health. 2008; 6 (6): 686- 691.
  13. Soleimani T, Nourbakhsh M, Alijani AH. The effect of 12 weeks of exercise or exercise and exercise on water on the quality of life and happiness of non-athlete women of middle age. Mental Behav Sports Psychol. 2012; 10: 105- 122.
  14. Littrell TR, Snow ChM. Bone density and physical function in postmenopausal women after 12 month water exercise intervention. Bone Res Lab Corvallis. 2006; 541: 737- 9524.
  15. King MB, Judge JO, Whipple R, Wolfson L. Reliability and responsiveness of two physical performance measures examined in the context of a functional training intervention. Phys Ther. 2000; 80 (1): 8- 16.
  16. Tabatabaei S. Job stress dimensions and their relationship to general health status in nurses. TKJ. 2013; 4 (3): 17- 27.
  17. Salarifar MH, Pouretemad HR. The relationship between metacognitive beliefs and anxiety and depression disorder. Yafte J. 2012; 13 (4): 29- 38.
  18. Aminian O, Sadeghniiat HK, Shams-Hosseini NS. Frequency of depression in patients who suffering from insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome diagnosed by nocturnal polysomnography. TKJ. 2014; 6 (2): 76- 83.
  19. Townsend P. The family life of old people. London: Penguin Books. International analysis poverty. Routledge.‏ 2014.
  20. Jafari A, Behboodi M. The efficacy of aerobic exercises in reducing loneliness and promoting happiness in Elderly. IJPN. 2017; 5 (5): 9- 17.
  21. Parker J, Scott J, Strath Ann M. Physical activity measurement in older adults: relationships with mental health. JPHA. 2008; 16: 369- 380.
  22. Patki G, Li L, Allam F, Solanki N, Dao A, Alkadh K, Salim S. Dose dependent changes in cognitive function with exercise augmentation for major depression: Results from the TREAD study. Physiol Behav. 2014; 10 (130): 47- 53.
  23. Wegner M, Helmich I, Machado S, Nardi A, Arias-Carrion O, Budde H. Effects of exercise on anxiety and depression disorders: review of meta- analyses and neurobiological mechanisms. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014; 13 (6): 1002- 1014.
  24. Yagli N, Ulger O. The effects of yoga on the quality of life and depression in elderly breast cancer patients. Com Ther Clin Pr. 2015; 21 (1): 7- 10.
  25. Salguero A, Martínez-García R, Molinero O, Márquez S. Physical activity, quality of life and symptoms of depression in community-dwelling and institutionalized older adults. J Gerontol Geriatrics. 2011; 53 (2): 152- 157.
  26. Hamidizade S, Ahmadi F, Aslani Y, Etemadifar Sh, Salehi K, Kordyazdi R. Study effect of a group-based exercise program on the quality of life in older men and women in 2006- 2007. JSSU. 2008; 16 (1): 167- 177.
  27. Rashidi Z, Daneshfar A, Shojaei M, Bagherian-Sararoudi R, Rouzbahani R, Marandi SM, et al. Scrutiny effects of eight-weeks pilates exercise on women’s postmenopausal depressive symptoms. J Isfahan Med Sci Sch. 2013; 31 (231): 408- 415.
  28. Harris AH, Cronkite R, Moos R. Physical activity, exercise coping, and depression in a 10-year cohort study of depressed patients. J Affect Disord. 2003; 93 (1-3): 79- 85.
  29. Weisi K, Keshtidar M. Training aerobics and its benefits. First published, Tehran, bamdad book. 2011.
  30. Kolet G. The effect of a primary care physical activity program on quality of life in low-active older adults. J Sci Med Sport. 2010; 12: 227- 236.
  31. Dadashpoor A, Dadashpoor A, Mahmoodkhani MR, Mohammadi R. Effect of an aquatic exercise on depression level in male elderly. Res Rehabil Sci. 2012; 8 (6): 1095- 1102
  32. Knapen J, Vancampfort D, Moriën Y, Marchal Y. Exercise therapy improves both mental and physical health in patients with major depression. Disabil Rehabil. 2015; 37 (16): 1490- 1495.
  33. Harrefors C, Savenstedtm S, Axelsson K. Elderly people’s perceptions of how they want to be cared for: An interview study with healthy elderly couples in Northern Sweden. Scand J Caring. 2009; 23 (2): 353- 360.