Light Physical Activity Cuts the Risk of Depression in Youth

According to recent research from University College London, the UK, young adolescents who are physically active have a lower risk to experience depression by age 18 than their peers leading a sedentary lifestyle.

For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data from 4,527 participants enrolled in the University of Bristol’s Children of the 90s study. The information comprised data about physical activity from accelerometers which allowed finding out whether the participants were involved in light or moderate-to-vigorous activity.

The analysis showed that for every extra hour per day spent for physical activity at ages 12, 14, and 16, the young adolescents had lower depression score by age of 18. This reduction was 9.6%, 7.8%, and 11.1%.

One of the study authors Aaron Kandola, a graduate student at University College London, says: “We found that it’s not just more intense forms of activity that are good for our mental health — any degree of physical activity that can reduce the time we spend sitting down is likely to be beneficial. We should be encouraging people of all ages to move more and to sit less, as it’s good for both our physical and mental health.”

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