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      Relationship between leisure time physical activity, sedentary behaviour and symptoms of depression and anxiety: evidence from a population-based sample of Canadian adolescents

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          Abstract

          Background

          Physical and sedentary activities have been identified as potentially modifiable risk factors for many diseases, including mental illness, and may be effective targets for public health policy and intervention. However, the relative contribution of physical activity versus sedentary behaviour to mental health is less clear. This study investigated the cross-sectional association between physical activity, sedentary activity and symptoms of depression and anxiety at age 14–15 in the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).

          Methods

          Respondents aged 14–15 years between 1996 and 2009 who reported on symptoms of depression in the NLSCY were included (n=9702). Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between physical and sedentary activity and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Joint models including both physical and sedentary activity were also explored. Models were adjusted for sex, ethnicity, immigration status, family income, parental education, recent major stressful life events and chronic health conditions.

          Results

          The odds of having moderate and severe symptoms of depression and anxiety compared with no symptoms was 1.43 (1.11 to 1.84) and 1.88 (1.45 to 2.45) times higher, respectively, in physically inactive youth relative to physically active youth. The odds of having moderate and severe symptoms of depression and anxiety compared with no symptoms was 1.38 (1.13 to 1.69) and 1.31 (1.02 to 1.69) times higher, respectively, in sedentary youth relative to non-sedentary youth. In joint models including both physical and sedentary activity, sedentary activity was not consistently associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

          Conclusions

          Both physical inactivity and sedentary activity appear to be significantly related to symptoms of depression and anxiety. The importance of distinguishing these two behaviours has relevance for research as well as policies targeting physical activity and mental health in youth.

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          Most cited references33

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          The associations between sedentary behaviour and mental health among adolescents: a systematic review

          Background With technological developments and modernised sedentary lifestyles has come an increase in diseases associated with inactivity such as obesity and other non-communicable diseases. Emerging evidence suggests that time spent sedentary may also interact with mental health. This systematic review examined the associations between sedentary behaviour and mental health problems among adolescents. Methods This systematic review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, and applied a quality assessment tool for quantitative studies to identity best available evidence. Following stringent search strategy of the databases; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Global Health, Health Source: Nursing and Academic Edition, MEDLINE, PsychARTICLES and PsycINFO, we identified 32 articles eligible for review. Results All studies reported leisure screen time among adolescents, and two thirds of identified studies examined depressive symptomatology. Other mental health measures were; anxiety symptoms, self-esteem, suicide ideation, loneliness, stress, and psychological distress. Strong consistent evidence was found for the relationship between both depressive symptomatology and psychological distress, and time spent using screens for leisure. Moderate evidence supported the relationship between low self-esteem and screen use. Poorer mental health status was found among adolescents using screen time more than 2–3 h per day, and gender differences exist. Essential information was missing for quality of evidence including heterogeneity in mental health and screen time-based measures, and self-report data collection methods. Conclusions The findings are of particular significance given the global public health concern of lifestyle-attributed diseases and the possibility for novel approaches to mental health. Future research should examine the psychological impact of reducing time spent using screens for leisure among adolescents, whilst accounting for possible confounding factors such as physical activity and dietary behaviours. It is critical that the reciprocal relationship between lifestyle behaviours and mental health is represented in both the psychiatric and public health forum. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12966-016-0432-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            A Large-Scale Test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis

            Although the time adolescents spend with digital technologies has sparked widespread concerns that their use might be negatively associated with mental well-being, these potential deleterious influences have not been rigorously studied. Using a preregistered plan for analyzing data collected from a representative sample of English adolescents ( n = 120,115), we obtained evidence that the links between digital-screen time and mental well-being are described by quadratic functions. Further, our results showed that these links vary as a function of when digital technologies are used (i.e., weekday vs. weekend), suggesting that a full understanding of the impact of these recreational activities will require examining their functionality among other daily pursuits. Overall, the evidence indicated that moderate use of digital technology is not intrinsically harmful and may be advantageous in a connected world. The findings inform recommendations for limiting adolescents' technology use and provide a template for conducting rigorous investigations into the relations between digital technology and children's and adolescents' health.
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              Screen time is associated with depression and anxiety in Canadian youth.

              This study examined the relationships between screen time and symptoms of depression and anxiety in a large community sample of Canadian youth.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                bmjopen
                bmjopen
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                2044-6055
                2018
                17 October 2018
                : 8
                : 10
                : e021119
                Affiliations
                [1 ] departmentSchool of Epidemiology and Public Health , University of Ottawa , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
                [2 ] departmentHealth Analysis Division , Statistics Canada , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Ian Colman; icolman@ 123456uottawa.ca
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5924-0277
                Article
                bmjopen-2017-021119
                10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021119
                6196847
                30337306
                76e58586-3e15-4c4b-b88d-db3766e00b38
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2018. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                History
                : 15 December 2017
                : 27 July 2018
                : 22 August 2018
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001804, Canada Research Chairs;
                Categories
                Mental Health
                Research
                1506
                1712
                Custom metadata
                unlocked

                Medicine
                epidemiology,public health
                Medicine
                epidemiology, public health

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