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Study Finds Exercise May Not Prevent Depression in Young Teens

Study Finds Exercise May Not Prevent Depression in Young Teens

A recent study found that students starting to exercise at a young age may not find any positive impact on their mental health. 

According to  study in the UK, young people who were physically active around 14 years old "did not appear to affect whether or not they were depressed a few years later," said an article on 

“Our findings do not eliminate the possibility that [physical activity] positively affects depressed mood in the general population; rather, we suggest that this effect may be small or nonexistent during the period of adolescence,” the authors wrote.

The study looked at 736 children who were 14.5 years old, the article said, on average. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the article said, "almost 11 percent of young people are depressed by age 18." The team "measured the amount of exercise the children did each day...three years later, the team looked at mood and depression symptoms in the kids."

"The study authors found that the amount of exercise children got when they were around 14 years old did not predict whether they would be depressed at age 17," the article said. "Children who were active at early ages did not have an increased or decreased risk for depression a few years later."

Glen Elliot, a clinical professor at the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences said that "sometimes science disappoints."

"Appealing as the idea may be that physically active individuals are in some way protected against certain risks, including depression, there is no strong theoretical basis for such a belief," he said. "These investigators found that at least baseline levels of physical activity had no effect, good or bad, on risk of depression three years later."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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