• Written by Fleur Townley
Michelle Bridges
Michelle Bridges

To kick-off Black Dog Institute’s ‘Exercise Your Mood’ week (30 April – 6 May 2018), Michelle Bridges will lead a free public group workout at First Fleet Park in Circular Quay, Sydney, from 7:30am – 8:30am on Tuesday 1st May, to encourage everyday Australians to improve their mental health by completing at least one hour of exercise each week.


According to the Australian Health Survey, 20% of Australian adults do not undertake any regular physical activity, and more than a third spend less than 1.5 hours per week being physically active. This same survey also showed that around one million Australians have depression, with one in five Australians aged 16-85 experiencing a mental illness in any year.


Previous research led by the Black Dog Institute has shown that:

  • even a small amount of physical activity – as little as one hour each week – is associated with reduced rates of depression, regardless of age, gender or current fitness level.
  • 12% of cases of depression may have been prevented if participants undertook just one hour of physical activity each week.
  • people who reported doing no exercise at all had a 44% increased chance of developing depression compared to those who were exercising one to two hours each week.


Associate Professor Sam Harvey from Black Dog Institute, said, “These findings are important because they show that even a relatively small amount of exercise – as little as one hour per week – may be able to deliver significant protection against depression.”


Black Dog Institute Ambassador Michelle Bridges agreed, saying, “I’ve seen first-hand the enormously positive impact exercise can have on a person’s mental health. And we’re not talking running marathons or climbing Everest here – just adding in a little bit of extra movement can really make a significant difference.”


“Your one hour a week doesn’t need to be done all at once,” continued Michelle. “You can simply add in a few minutes of activity each day. As long as you get your heart rate up it counts! So, what’s your hour a week?”


The event is open to everyone however numbers are limited and online registration is required.


Event details

What: Free public workout session led by celebrity personal trainer Michelle Bridges

When: 7:30am – 8:30am Tuesday 1st May 2018

Where: First Fleet Park Circular Quay, Sydney

Registrations: Online at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/exercise-your-mood-with-michelle-bridges-free-morning-workout-tickets-45052972654 by 30th April or earlier if booked out


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