Pediatrics published a meta-analysis on the association of children’s physical activity levels in childhood and adolescence with depression. Fifty studies (89,894 participants) were included from 2005-2015 that measured physical activity in childhood or adolescence and examined its association with depression. The results indicated that stronger effect sizes were seen in studies with:
- Cross-sectional versus longitudinal designs
- Using depression self-report versus interview
- Using validated versus non-validated physical activity measures
- Using measures of frequency and intensity of physical activity versus intensity alone
The researchers concluded that children’s higher physical activity levels are associated with decreased concurrent depressive symptoms although the association with future depressive symptoms is weak.
Reference: Korczak, D.J., Madigan, S., & Colasanto, M. (2017). Children’s Physical Activity and Depression: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics, e20162266.
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