- Participants who followed health guidelines for physical activity before the epidemic reduced their physical activity by 32% during the epidemic.
- The same participants reported being more depressed, anxious and lonely.
- The study did not confirm that sitting causes depression, but there is a link between prolonged sitting and depressive symptoms.
Epidemic and health restrictions have greatly reduced awareness. Daily trips have become trips between the bedroom and the living room, and clicking on the zoom links has erased the time to walk to the meeting rooms. All of these changes have led to an increase in sedentary lifestyles and sedentary time, which, as confirmed by a study published on 1, does not promote improved mental health.Is October in review Boundaries in Psychiatry.
Study the abrupt change in habits
“Sitting is wrong behavior, The lead author of the study, Jacob Meyer, immediately posed. It’s something we do all the time without thinking. “With his team of researchers, they looked at how physical activity and sedentary behaviors are linked to mental health. They also look at how changes in these behaviors affect the way people think, feel and see the world.
To do this, the researchers conducted a survey of 3,000 participants in the United States. They reported how much time they spent doing activities such as sitting, looking at screens and exercising. They compared these to their pre-pandemic habits. Using standard clinical criteria, they indicated changes in their mental well-being, for example, feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. “We know that when people’s physical activity and screen time change, it’s linked to their overall mental health, but we do not really see such a significant population in response to a sudden change.“It simply came to our notice then.
Anxious patients tend to be more sedentary
Preliminary survey data showed that participants who followed the health guidelines for moderate physical activity for 2.5 to 5 hours a week before the pandemic outbreak reduced their physical activity by 32%. The same participants reported being more depressed, anxious and lonely.
The researchers then looked at whether participants’ behaviors and mental health were changing over time. “On average, we found that their mental health improved over a period of eight weeks., Jacob Meyer Relate. People adjusted to life during the epidemic. But for people who have more sitting time, their depressive symptoms, on average, do not recover like everyone else.. “
Does not crumble due to sitting
Researchers believe that their study does not support the argument that sitting causes depression. “People who are more depressed are more likely to sit or those who are more seated are more likely to be depressed., Adds the main author. It certainly deserves further trial. I think it is important to be aware of some of the subtle changes we make during the pandemic and how beneficial or harmful they can be when looking at the other side of pandemic life.. “
The authors recommend that people take breaks when they sit longer. “If you no longer walk in the hall for personal meetings, you can take a break from sitting by taking a short walk before and after your zoom call.”, Suggested Jacob Meyer.