Here’s some great news for your postmenopausal clients. According to a study reported in Menopause (2020; 27 [4], 398–409), postmenopausal women who are more physically active experience fewer depressive symptoms and more positive feelings of well-being than those who are less active. As women go from pre- to early peri- to postmenopause, many experience varying degrees of depressive symptoms. University of Jyväskylä researchers in Finland wanted to examine whether physical activity played any role in the link between menopausal status and mental well-being.

Data analysis from 1,098 participants showed that depressive symptoms were significantly lower among premenopausal women than among early peri- and postmenopausal women. Women with high physical activity (brisk activity several times per week) had significantly higher levels of positive well-being and happiness, regardless of menopausal status. Medium physical activity levels (daily light activity or brisk activity 1–2 times per week) were linked with higher life satisfaction for pre- and postmenopausal women and with fewer depressive symptoms among postmenopausal women.

Study authors noted that being active may alleviate the potential negative impact of menopause on mental well-being. More research is needed to understand any causal links between menopausal symptoms, activity and mental well-being.