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article imageSitting still too long linked to teen depression

By Tim Sandle     Apr 1, 2020 in Health
There are multiple causes for depression, with variations at different stages in life. One new research study, focusing on adolescents, has drawn a connection with rates of depression and a sedentary lifestyle.
In other words, the University of London psychologists have found that too much time spent sitting still has a connection with a greater risk of displaying depressive symptoms in adolescents.
This finding was drawn from a survey of 4,257 adolescents, who were participating in a long-running cohort study. To assess levels of activity, the participants (aged between 12 and 16 years), were given accelerometers to wear. The stipulation was that the devices were worn for 10 hours over the course of three days or more.
Data from the accelerometers was used to assess whether the participant engaged in light activity (such as walking), moderate-to-physical activity (like running or cycling), or if they were involved with no major activity (and classed as sedentary).
The state of mind of each participant was assessed by means of a questionnaire and this allowed the researchers to determine whether depressive symptoms were present. The questionnaire also enabled the researchers to classify the depressive symptoms along a spectrum.
The key finding was that for each 60 minutes of sedentary behaviour per day, then this was connected with a rise in the depression score. This varied according to age but averaged around a 10 percent increase. Subjects with the highest levels of of time spent sedentary had a 28.2 percent higher depression scores, by the time they reached the age of 18.
Commenting on the inquiry, lead researcher Dr. Aaron Kandola states: “Our findings show that young people who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18.”
In terms of what is classed as ‘active’, the researcher adds: “We found that it's not just more intense forms of activity that are good for our mental health, but any degree of physical activity that can reduce the time we spend sitting down is likely to be beneficial.”
The research is published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, with the research paper titled “Depressive symptoms and objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour throughout adolescence: a prospective cohort study.”
In related news, scientists looking into the effects of different methods of deep brain stimulation: short pulse and long pulse, for severe depression, have shown that both methods can be beneficial, and both are safe when operated within the clinical setting. Furthermore, some of those who participated in the research study from the University of Calgary, stated they experienced a significant, and better, change in their lives following the application of the therapy.
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