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Sitting for long periods increases anxiety

Sitting for long periods increases anxiety


  • Participants who met the health guidelines for physical activity before the pandemic reduced their physical activity by 32% during the pandemic.
  • The same participants reported feeling more depressed, anxious, and lonely.
  • The study does not confirm that sitting causes depression, but there is a link between prolonged sitting and symptoms of depression.

The pandemic and health restrictions in place have significantly reduced mobility. Daily commutes have turned into transitions between the bedroom and living room, and clicking on Zoom links erases time spent walking to meeting rooms. All these changes led to an increase in a sedentary lifestyle and time spent sitting, which does not promote better mental health as confirmed by a study published in 1He is October in review Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Study the sudden change in habits

Sitting is deceptive behavior, immediately poses Jacob Meyer, lead author of the study. It’s something we do all the time without even thinking about it. He and his team of researchers studied how physical activity and sedentary behaviors relate to mental health. They also observed how changes in these behaviors affect the way people think, feel and see the world.

To do this, researchers conducted a survey of 3,000 participants in the United States. They reported the amount of time they spent doing activities, such as sitting, watching screens, and exercising. They also compared it to their pre-epidemic habits. Using standard clinical scales, they reported changes in their mental well-being, for example, depression, anxiety, feelings of stress and loneliness. “We know when people’s physical activity and screen time change, it’s related to their general mental health, but we haven’t actually seen such significant demographics in response to a sudden change before.‘ says Jacob Mayer.

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Most anxious patients stay seated

Preliminary survey data showed that participants who met the health guidelines for physical activity of 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week before the pandemic reduced their physical activity by 32%, on average with health measures. The same participants reported feeling more depressed, anxious, and lonely.

The researchers then looked at whether the participants’ behaviors and mental health changed over time. “We found that, on average, people saw an improvement in their mental health over the eight-week period., related to Jacob Mayer. People have adapted to life during the pandemic. But for people whose sitting time remained high, their depressive symptoms, on average, didn’t recover like everyone else’s.. “

Sitting does not make you depressed

The researchers noted that their study does not support the claim that sitting causes depression. “It is possible for people who are depressed to sit more or people who sit more to become more depressedAdds lead author. Definitely worth more investigation. I think it’s really important to be aware of some of the subtle changes we’ve made during the pandemic and how they can be beneficial or harmful as we look at the other side of pandemic life.. “

The authors recommend taking breaks when people are sitting for long periods of time. “If you no longer walk the hallway for in-person meetings, you can still incorporate that break from sitting by taking a short walk before and after the Zoom call.Jacob Mayer suggests.

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