Jan 10, 2023
Study Links Decreased Chance of Depression in Youth Athletes

One way to avoid depression in teenage adolescents is to spend time competing in athletics or exercising.

According to a recent study involving more than 2,400 kids and analyzing 21 previously published studies, supervised exercise programs are associated with significant reductions in symptoms of depression among children and teenagers.

depressionA recent report from MedicalXpress.com detailed the study’s findings.

Below is an excerpt from the MedicalXpress.com story.

“This is the first time that we’ve been able to put enough studies together so that we can make a pretty good conclusion to answer the question, ‘Is physical activity and exercise good for children with ?'” said co-study author Walter Thompson, a retired professor of exercise physiology with Georgia State University in Atlanta. “The answer is overwhelmingly yes.”

Further, the data indicate a specific dose of exercise that will produce the biggest benefit in children: Around an hour of physical activity three days a week provided the best relief for symptoms of depression.

“And you know, that’s pretty close to what the federal government has recommended as regular exercise for both children and adults, somewhere between 75 and 150 minutes a week,” Thompson said.

The study also found that exercise programs shorter than 12 weeks produced greater benefits—possibly because such a tightly defined program allows participants a positive sense of achievement and accomplishment, according to an editorial co-authored by Eduardo Bustamante, an assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

“These physical activity programs that we have are reducing depressive symptoms without even trying,” Bustamante said. “We’re getting this impact without even really explicitly trying to reduce depression.”

These results offer a potential response to a  that’s been affecting American teens and young adults in the wake of the pandemic and other major societal shifts.

To read the full story from MedicalXpress.com on the connection between athletics and decreased risk of depression, click here. 

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