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About me

My current research focuses on the consequences of sick leave and risk factors for sick leave using data from the Swedish Twin Registry, questionnaires and other sources. 

My PhD project was focused on using exercise as a treatment for mild to moderate depression. The data came from a large RCT, the Regassa study ( and included treatment as usual and three exercise groups of varying intensity. 

Additionally I have worked on a project regarding risk and protective factors for fall injuries in elderly. In this project we used data from registers and the Stockholm Public Health Cohort. 


2013-2016      Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

PhD in Medical Sciences with a focus on public health and epidemiology

Title of thesis: Exercise As Treatment For Depression


2010 – 2012      Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Master of Public Health Epidemiology                                 


2005 - 2008       University of Iceland, Reykjavík

B.A. in Sociology




Cardiorespiratory fitness and response to exercise treatment in depression
Rahman Ms, Helgadóttir B, Hallgren M, Forsell Y, Stubbs B, Vancampfort D, et al
BJPsych open 2018;4(5):346-351

Sticking with it? Factors associated with exercise adherence in people with mild to moderate depression
Helgadottir B, Hallgren M, Kullberg Cle, Forsell Y

The association between part-time and temporary employment and sickness absence: a prospective Swedish twin study
Helgadóttir B, Svedberg P, Mather L, Lindfors P, Bergström G, Blom V
European journal of public health 2018;():-

Changes in physical activity and sedentary behavior associated with an exercise intervention in depressed adults
Helgadottir B, Owen N, Dunstan Dw, Ekblom O, Hallgren M, Forsell Y

Long-term effects of exercise at different intensity levels on depression: A randomized controlled trial
Helgadóttir B, Forsell Y, Hallgren M, Möller J, Ekblom Ö
Preventive medicine 2017;105():37-46

Exercise and internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression: multicentre randomised controlled trial with 12-month follow-up
Hallgren M, Helgadottir B, Herring Mp, Zeebari Z, Lindefors N, Kaldo V, et al

Exercise, Physical Activity, and Sedentary Behavior in the Treatment of Depression: Broadening the Scientific Perspectives and Clinical Opportunities
Hallgren M, Herring Mp, Owen N, Dunstan D, Ekblom Ö, Helgadottir B, et al
Frontiers in psychiatry 2016;7():36-

Habitual physical activity levels predict treatment outcomes in depressed adults: A prospective cohort study
Hallgren M, Nakitanda Oa, Ekblom Ö, Herring Mp, Owen N, Dunstan D, et al
Preventive medicine 2016;88():53-8

Training fast or slow? Exercise for depression: A randomized controlled trial
Helgadóttir B, Hallgren M, Ekblom Ö, Forsell Y
Preventive medicine 2016;91():123-131

Patterns in health-related behaviours and fall injuries among older people: a population-based study in Stockholm County, Sweden
Helgadottir B, Moller J, Laflamme L
Age and ageing 2015;44(4):604-10

Physical activity patterns of people affected by depressive and anxiety disorders as measured by accelerometers: a cross-sectional study
Helgadóttir B, Forsell Y, Ekblom Ö
PloS one 2015;10(1):e0115894-

Impact of expectations on the effects of exercise on psychological distress
Helgadóttir B, Ekblom Ö, Forsell Y
American journal of health behavior 2014;38(5):650-6

Medication and fall injury in the elderly population; do individual demographics, health status and lifestyle matter?
Helgadóttir B, Laflamme L, Monárrez-espino J, Möller J
BMC geriatrics 2014;14():92-

[Utilization of complimentary and alternative health services in Iceland]
Helgadóttir B, Vilhjálmsson R, Gunnarsdóttir Tj
Laeknabladid 2010;96(4):267-73

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