Featured image. Depressed teen with head in hands.

Sedentary Lifestyles Contributing To Teenage Depression?

We all know the importance of keeping fit, active and healthy, but parents may want to make sure that their teens are getting as much exercise as possible, given new research revealing that more time spent sitting still was associated with higher depression scores at the age of 18.

Carried out by researchers from University College London and King’s College London, the study found that just 1.5 per cent of the young people involved in the work were hitting government recommendations of an hour of moderate intensity activity every day for those aged between five and 18.

The conclusion was drawn that teenagers should be encouraged to be more active to help protect their mental health, an important message to take away from the study. Depression symptoms can first emerge during adolescence, so trying to reverse the trend of increased inactivity as children get older could have a big impact on future mental health.

The researchers called on schools to consider holding standing lessons, promoting lightly active pastimes like painting or playing a musical instrument, and increasing travel time between lessons.

“The displacement of sedentary behaviour with light activity in young people warrants more direct and specific consideration in physical activity guidelines and public health interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of depression,” they said.

Other pressures during teen years can add to stress and anxiety for the entire family, such as exam stress, peer pressure, identity issues and so on. Being proactive and seeking help from outside sources can prove beneficial and it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and there is help out there, no matter what’s going on in your family.

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