Publication date: Feb 13, 2020
February 12, 2020, 2:25 PM 5 min read The relationship between sedentary behavior and poor physical health is well known, but a new study is showing a lack of exercise can also affect kids’ mental health later in life.
Researchers followed 4,257 adolescents for six years starting at age 12 to find a connection between physical activity, sedentary behavior and depressive symptoms.
Results showed that sedentary behavior increased and light activity decreased throughout adolescence, for unknown reasons, both of which led to depressive symptoms at 18 years old and beyond.
Higher time spent sedentary or engaging in light activity were associated with higher depression scores and time spent doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was a protective factor for depression later on in life.
One additional hour of sedentary behavior per day increased depressive scores by 10% by 18 years of age, according to the study.