General Article Light activity may improve mental health for teenagers

Topic Selected: Fitness Book Volume: 384

‘Teenagers who sit for hours a day are more likely to get depression at 18’ 

reports the Mail Online.

It’s been known for some time that children’s activity levels go down as they get older, and this seems to be happening more in recent years. The numbers of teenagers with depression have also been rising.

Researchers tracked the activity levels of 4,257 teenagers aged 12, 14 and 16. They then tested them for symptoms of depression at age 18. During the study, average levels of light activity, such as slow walking, fell. Time spent sitting or lying down increased. More time spent doing light activity at age 12 to 16 was linked to lower depression scores at age 18, while more time spent sitting still was linked to higher depression scores.

Only 1.5% of those in the study were meeting government recommendations for people aged 5 to 18 to do an hour of moderate intensity activity each day.

The researchers say it might be easier for teenagers to do more light activity than to increase...

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