2011 年 32 巻 2 号 p. 175-180
Obese individuals have an increased risk of developing depression. This study aimed to determine whether the “Senobi” breathing exercise (SBE), a stretching-breathing exercise that we have established, could relieve depression, especially in obese women. Forty premenopausal women, aged 40 to 49 years, participated in the present study. Twenty were healthy, and the other 20 were obese (body mass index > 25 and body fat > 30%) and in a depressive state (OWD). Sympathetic nerve activity determined by analyzing heart rate variability, and the hormone levels in the urine were investigated before and 30 min after one minute of SBE. The relative proportion of sympathetic nerve activity among healthy women in the daytime was 79.2 &plsumn; 2.3%, whereas that in OWD group was 30.4 ± 1.9%. After one minute of SBE, significant up-regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and increased concentrations of catecholamines, estradiol, and growth hormone (all P values < 0.001) were observed in OWD group. After 30 days of SBE, the sympathetic nerve activity and hormone levels had recovered in OWD group, and the depressive state, as evaluated by the Hamilton Depression Scale, had ameliorated. The “Senobi” breathing exercise was found to be effective for amelioration of depression in obese women possibly through up-regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and hormone secretion.