A new study has shed light on how just sitting in one place for hours on end can have serious effects not only on your physical but also mental health and well-being, even if you exercise during the day.
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For the to study, the researchers recruited a sample of 284 people involving University of Huddersfield staff as well as students via a student mailing list. The data was collected during the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown from May to June 2020.
Participants received an online respondent survey that focused on demographic and pre-existing conditions, usual physical activity, and mental health.
According to the study, the people who reported little time in sitting and low physical activity in the study were also the ones who reported significantly reduced levels of depression. score compared to participants living a more sedentary lifestyle with minimal physical activity.
On the other hand, participants with little sitting time and moderate or high physical activity also had a significantly higher well-being score than those with high sitting time and low physical activity.
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The researchers also found a negative and significant association between the depression score and the domains of home and garden physical activity and recreational physical activity.
Alternatively, there was a significant and positive association between these same areas and well-being scores. A similar significant positive association was noted between the domain of work-related physical activity and the well-being score.
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Dr Liane Azevedo, one of the study’s authors, explains âAlthough our sample of almost 300 (people) was very active, they sat for longer periods with over 50% sitting over eight. hours per day. along with certain demographics and pre-existing health problems, were the main variables negatively influencing mental health and well-being.
She added: âOther studies have shown that if you sit for more than eight hours, in order to compensate (for) the negative effect of sedentary behavior on physical health, you need to exercise for longer. Reducing sitting time has a positive effect on mental health. We recommend that with (an) increase in physical activity, public health encourage a reduction in sitting time for mental health benefits. “