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Physical activity and depressive symptoms in adolescents: a prospective study

Rothon, C; Edwards, P; Bhui, K; Viner, RM; Taylor, S; Stansfeld, SA; (2010) Physical activity and depressive symptoms in adolescents: a prospective study. BMC Medicine , 8 , Article 32. 10.1186/1741-7015-8-32. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The frequency of mental illness amongst adolescents and its potential long-term consequences make it an important topic to research in relation to risk and protective factors. Research on the relationship between physical activity and depressive symptoms in adolescents is limited. There is a particular lack of evidence from longitudinal studies. This study examines the relationship between depression and physical activity using the Research with East London Adolescents: Community Health Survey (RELACHS).Methods: This was a prospective cohort study. Participants were recruited from three Local Education Authority boroughs in East London in 2001 from year 7 (aged 11-12) and year 9 (aged 13-14) and were followed-up in 2003. All pupils in the 28 schools that took part were eligible for the study. Of the total 3,322 pupils eligible for the survey the overall response rate was 84% (2,789 pupils). A total of 2,093 (75%) pupils were also followed-up in 2003. The sample was multiethnic (73% of respondents were non-white) and deprived. Just under half of the sample was male (49%). Depressive symptoms were measured using the Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ). Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between physical activity and depressive symptoms both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.Results: After adjustments, there was evidence for a cross-sectional association between physical activity and depressive symptoms for both boys and girls at baseline, with a decrease in the odds of depressive symptoms of about 8% for each additional hour of exercise undertaken per week (boys: odds ratio (OR) = 0.92, 95% CI 0.85 to 0.99; girls: OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.00). There was no evidence for an association between a change in physical activity from baseline to follow-up and depressive symptoms at follow-up.Conclusions: This study provides some evidence for an association between level of physical activity and decreased depressive symptoms in adolescents. Further longitudinal research of these associations is required before physical activity can be recommended as an intervention for depression in adolescents.

Type: Article
Title: Physical activity and depressive symptoms in adolescents: a prospective study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-8-32
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-8-32
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Rothon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Short questionnaire, suicidal-behavior, participation, children, sports, risk, disorders, exercise
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/151009
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