Sitting Around Harmful To Teens’ Mental Health

The world has spent much of 2020 stuck indoors avoiding the coronavirus pandemic. While some children may enjoy the time off from going to school and other responsibilities, it may not be the best thing for their mental health. A study looking at the mental health of children found that even an hour of light activity each day can lower their risk for depression entering adulthood.

Researchers followed more than 4,200 adolescents starting at the age of 12 to see how daily activity affected multiple symptoms of depression.

Researchers tracked the children, who wore accelerometers regularly, and recorded their movement history at ages 12, 14, and 16. The study found that every extra hour of daily activity helped to lower depressive symptoms by 7.8 to 11.1 percent, depending on the age of the child.

Depressive symptoms, described as low mood, loss of pleasurable feelings, and poor concentration skills, climbed by nearly the same amounts for every extra hour of sedentary behavior the children recorded. Adolescents with the highest amounts of inactivity during their teen years had depression scores over 28 percent higher than other children.

“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,” PhD student Aaron Kandola of University College London said in a statement.

The study’s senior author, Dr Joseph Hayes (UCL Psychiatry and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust), said: “A lot of initiatives promote exercise in young people, but our findings suggest that light activity should be given more attention as well.”

Excerpted from “Sitting Around Harmful To Teens’ Mental Health; Just An Hour Of Light Activity Can Prevent Depression” on Read the full article. The full study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Source: StudyFinds | Sitting Around Harmful To Teens’ Mental Health; Just An Hour Of Light Activity Can Prevent Depression, | © 2020

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