We all know by now that too much sitting is bad for your ticker, your waistline, … oh, let’s face it, just about everything. But, if you’ve ever felt moody, irritable, and fatigued at the end of the workday (and who hasn’t?), you’ll be less than surprised to hear that excessive sitting also has negative psychological effects. This article at Medicaldaily.com explores the possible link between sitting time, physical activity and depression.
Researchers from Victoria University and University of Queensland in Australia analyzed the survey responses of 8,950 women over several years, looking for associations among all three areas. They found that those who sat the most (more than seven hours a day) had a 47% higher risk for current depressive symptoms than women who sat the least (less than four hours per day). Women who did no physical activity had a 99% higher risk for developing depressive symptoms than those who met moderate exercise guidelines, and those who sat for multiple hours and got no exercise were three times more likely to have depressive symptoms than women who sat less and exercised more.
The authors noted that sitting disease was associated with current signs of depression, while inactivity made future depressive symptoms more likely, “Increasing physical activity … can alleviate current depression symptoms and prevent future symptoms in mid-aged women,” wrote the researchers in their paper. “Reducing sitting time may ameliorate current symptoms.”
So, to nutshell that info for you:
– Sitting less will likely help you feel better now.
– More physical activity in general makes it more likely that you’ll feel good years from now.
I don’t think this necessarily means that gym rats are the happiest people on the planet (raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten the stinkeye from someone who wanted your spot on the treadmill), but moderate exercise may be as good for your mind as it is for your body. Remember, regular workouts won’t exempt you from sitting disease‘s ill effects, just getting up from your chair more often can help.