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Physical activity and depression in young adults


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McKercher, CM, Schmidt, MD, Sanderson, Kristy, Patton, GC, Dwyer, T and Venn, AJ 2009 , 'Physical activity and depression in young adults' , American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2 , pp. 161-164 , doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.036.

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Background: Epidemiologic research suggests that physical activity is associated with decreased prevalence
of depression. However, the relationship between physical activity accumulated in
various domains and depression remains unclear. Further, previous population-based
studies have predominantly utilized self-reported measures of physical activity and depression
symptom subscales. Associations between physical activity in various domains (leisure,
work, active commuting, yard/household) and depression were examined using both subjective
and objective measures of physical activity and a diagnostic measure of depression.
Methods: Analyses (conducted in 2007) included data from 1995 young adults participating in a
national study (2004–2006). Physical activity was measured by self-report (International
Physical Activity Questionnaire) and objectively as pedometer steps/day. Depression
(DSM-IV 12-month diagnosis of major depression or dysthymic disorder) was assessed
using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
Results: For women, moderate levels of ambulatory activity (7500 steps/day) were associated with
50% lower prevalence of depression compared with being sedentary (5000 steps/day)
(p trend0.005). Relatively low durations of leisure physical activity (1.25 hours/week)
were associated with 45% lower prevalence compared with the sedentary group (0
hours/week) (p trend0.003). In contrast, high durations of work physical activity (10
hours/week) were associated with an approximate twofold higher prevalence of depression
compared with being sedentary (0 hours/week) (p trend0.005). No significant associations
were observed for steps/day in men or for other types of self-reported activity
including total physical activity in both men and women.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that the context in which physical activity is assessed and the
measurement methods utilized are important considerations when investigating associations
between physical activity and depression.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McKercher, CM and Schmidt, MD and Sanderson, Kristy and Patton, GC and Dwyer, T and Venn, AJ
Keywords: CDAH
Journal or Publication Title: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
ISSN: 074-3797
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.036
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