Physically active children are less depressed

Zahl, T. et al. (2017) Pediatrics. 139(2) e20161711

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Objective: The prospective relation between physical activity and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-defined major depression in middle childhood is unknown, as is the stability of depression. We therefore aimed to (1) determine whether there are reciprocal relations between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior, on one hand, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition defined symptoms of major depressive disorder, on the other and (2) assess the extent of stability in depressive symptoms from age 6 to 10 years.

Conclusions: MVPA predicts fewer symptoms of major depression in middle childhood, and increasing MVPA may serve as a complementary method to prevent and treat childhood depression.

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