Feeling down? Study shows sitting less could help boost mood
A new study suggests that sitting less could boost your mood. (©Martin Novak/shutterstock.com)
Published Monday, September 9, 2013 12:09PM EDT
(Relaxnews) - If you feel down in the dumps after a long day of sitting at your desk, a new study confirms it: the longer a person sits, the more likely he or she is to have symptoms of depression, researchers claim.
Researchers from Victoria University and the University of Queensland recruited nearly 9,000 women ages 50 to 55 who responded to surveys in 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2010, Runners World cited. Researchers kept tabs on depressive symptoms and physical activity levels as well.
Findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that women who sat for more than seven hours a day were at a 47 percent higher risk for depressive symptoms than women who sat for four hours or less per day. Women who didn’t exercise had a 99 percent higher risk for depression compared with women who exercised for 30 minutes a day on most days.
However, all that sitting wasn’t associated with future signs of depression, Runners World reported, but rather "in the moment" feelings of depression.
If you have a desk-bound job, the Mayo Clinic advises taking micro-breaks every 20 to 30 minutes -- get up, move around and take deep breaths to relieve muscle tension. Other ideas include standing up to take phone calls, walking to see a colleague rather than emailing, and taking the stairs instead of the lift where possible.
If your boss isn’t willing to spring for a treadmill desk, which could resolve the problem of sitting altogether, trim back on your sedentary time in the off hours by opting for exercise over television, which prior studies have found can boost your longevity.