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Saturday, 12 November 2011 14:41

Swap TV time with Exercise and reduce the risk of Depression

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Women switch off the TV and put on the shoes - sweat out to lower the risk of getting depression,suggests the study.

It has been observed in the recent study of middle aged Americans, that the women who exercised frequently and didn’t watch much TV, were least likely to be diagnosed with depression. Researchers noticed that the women who gave preference to exercise over spending hours in front of idiot box were about 20 percent less likely to suffer from depression; compared to those who rarely opted for exercise. In addition to that, it was also observed that the more time spent watching TV, the higher the risk of depression.

The researchers highlighted in the American Journal of Epidemiology that the study did not prove that watching too much TV and avoiding exercise is responsible for depression. However, the findings did support that spending less time on couch and being  more active can uplift self-esteem and women’s sense of control with rise in level of endorphins in blood as well.

Study
The researchers concluded after studying the report that involved the records of about 50,000 women who filled out surveys every two years as a part of the U.S. Nurses’s Health Study. The participants recorded the amount of time they spent watching TV each week in 1992 and also answered questions about how often they walked, biked, ran and swam between 1992 and 2000.
Women were also asked to report about any new diagnosis of clinical depression or medication they were taking for the treatment of depression.

Study findings
The findings suggested that the women who watched three hours of TV per day or more were 13 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who hardly ever tuned in -- but the researchers couldn't be sure that finding wasn't due to chance.
The finding adds to the growing body of evidence that physical activity is important to maintain brain health," Dr. Gillian Mead, who studies geriatric medicine at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary, told Reuters Health in an email. Noted that he wasn't involved in the new research.
Here, it is important to notice that the role of intensity of the physical activity was significant. Walking was the most common type of exercise reported, but only women who said they walked at a brisk or very brisk pace had lower depression rates than couch potatoes.

Researcher’s view
"If you walk at an easy pace and slow pace, probably you will not get the benefits than the people who walk at a brisk or very brisk pace," study author Michel Lucas, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told Reuters Health.

 "Previous studies have suggested that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms," Mead said, but this study adds to that research by looking for full-fledged depression diagnoses. Still, "it cannot prove a causal relationship between low physical activity and depression," she added.

Lucas said that at least part of the link between TV and depression -- but not all of it -- is probably because some women replace time they could be exercising with TV-watching.

 Still, the message should be that replacing some couch time with exercise time could lower your chances of getting depression, Lucas said.

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, online October 7, 2011.

Ref: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/12/us-exercise-depression-idUSTRE7AB02220111112

Read 11523 times Last modified on Sunday, 13 November 2011 11:38

4 comments

  • Comment Link Mitul Wednesday, 16 November 2011 08:58 posted by Mitul

    watching TV is so depressing ?!! Switch to cartoon network instead of Saas-bahu serials. Simple..

  • Comment Link Beverley Wednesday, 16 November 2011 08:53 posted by Beverley

    Regular exercise in exchange for watching the tellie not only increases your endorphin levels but something as simple as walking at a rapid pace to the point of sweating will lift your mood. Listening to upbeat music can help keep you motivated, as does walking with a partner, or your dog, and ensuring you are adequately dressed for less than favourable weather. Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes made specifically for walking, or a flashy wind breaker suit to ward off the rain, and upload your MP3 or IPod with the latest from Lady Gaga to keep you going. Often the hard part is starting, but once you feel the joy of the new found energy you have created as a result of being active, the next time Oprah is on the tube, you will reach for your trainers instead of the remote and head outdoors.

  • Comment Link MeliJ Sunday, 13 November 2011 12:11 posted by MeliJ

    There most definitely is a biological connection, & the physiological effects are quite complex, but it has more to do with the stimulation & release of endorphins - our body's own & best pain relief system akin to opioid function. The study - the US Nurses Health Study - is a long running Prospective study, and provides very valuable information; it is the writer of this piece who hasn't provided what it is you wished was answered in regards to PA. And also too, the data they present from the period 1992 - 2000, is a little outdated; more updated evidence-based literature should have been sourced for this piece, though still REPLACING any couch-potato activity - for those physically able - with exercise, is better management for depression, than not at all. Also, what about - & for those who have lower body joint problems, sitting on an exercise bike in front of their favourite TV programs... 2 birds with one stone! ;)

  • Comment Link fringster Saturday, 12 November 2011 17:59 posted by fringster

    Too bad the study didn't answer how physical activity can reduce the risk for depression/ Perhaps dopamine is released more when you're working out your muscle? I do believe it's something biologic.

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