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Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health

Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health
Ekkekakis, P. (Ed.) (2013). Routledge handbook of physical activity and mental health. London: Routledge. ISBN: 9780415782999



Reviews of the Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health


At least 15 books have been published on the effects of exercise and physical activity on mental health and psychological well-being but this is the first comprehensive text to cover the range of evidence and research across a broad range on mental health dimensions in this rapidly growing field. In a mammoth task the Editor-in-Chief, Paddy Ekkekakis, has managed to pull together a group of Sub-Editors for the following sections, each with 3–5 chapters written by leading authors in the respective field:

  • physical activity and the ’feel good’ effect (Sub-ed. Paddy Ekkekakis: with 4 chapters)

  • anxiety disorders (Sub-ed. Jasper Smits: with 3 chapters)

  • depression and mood disorders (Sub-ed. Lynette Craft: with 3 chapters)

  • self-perceptions and self-evaluations (Sub-ed. Kathleen Martin Ginis: with 5 chapters)

  • cognitive function across the lifespan (Sub-ed. Jennifer Etnier: with 4 chapters)

  • psychosocial stress (Sub-ed. Mark Hamer: with 4 chapters)

  • pain (Sub-ed. Dane Cook: with 4 chapters)

  • energy and fatigue (Sub-ed. Justy Reed: with 3 chapters)

  • addictions (Sub-ed. Michael Ussher: with 3 chapters)

  • quality of life in special populations (Sub-ed. Nicole Culos-Reed: with 5 chapters)

The content provides a comprehensive synthesis of this interdisciplinary field from neuroscience to public health. The qualitative reviews in each chapter identify the current state of play through reference to the latest systematic reviews and key studies. In each section, the focus is on a critical appraisal of the strength of evidence for a causal effect, followed by chapters on the evidence for neurobiological or psychosocial mechanisms.


In summary, congratulations to everyone involved in developing this excellent and essential text for students and academics at all levels. [...] The book is particularly likely to be a must have for libraries serving a range of fields, including clinical and health psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, behavioural and preventive medicine, gerontology, nursing, public health, primary care and sport and exercise science.

Taylor, A.H. (2013). Mental Health and Physical Activity, 6(2), 101-102.