Prolonged sitting and inactivity linked to depression

iStock_000000616084XSmallAnother day, another reason to stand up, stretch your legs and do some exercise! A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found a link between prolonged periods of sitting and sedentary behaviour, and depression.

Using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, which looked at information provided by 9,000 middle-aged women at 3-year intervals over a 9-year period, researchers found that women who sat for more than seven hours daily and who didn’t engage in exercise of any description were more likely to have depressive symptoms than women who sat for four hours or less per day and did regularly exercise.

In fact, women who sat less and moved more were three times less likely to experience depressive symptoms than the women who sat for longer and didn’t meet physical activity guidelines.

The study also found that women who experience depression are less likely to increase their physical activity, and highlighted the existence of a vicious cycle in which depression, which could potentially be alleviated at least in part by physical activity, acts as a barrier to participation in exercise.

Source: Heart Foundation

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