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Gulf Today Report
Researchers have found that less screen time, a better-quality diet, adequate sleep and physical activity strongly impact depression.
A cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from the UK Biobank involved almost 85,000 people to see the results.
The study found a significant relationship between physical activity, healthy diet, and optimal sleep (7-9 hours) associated with less frequency of depressed mood.
Screen time and tobacco smoking were also significantly associated with a higher frequency of depressed mood.
Over time, the lifestyle factors which were protective of depressed mood in both individuals with clinical depression and those without a depressive disorder was optimal sleep (7-9 hours) and lower screen time, while a better-quality diet was indicated to be protective of depressed mood in those without depression
"While people usually know that physical activity is important for mood, we now have additional data showing that adequate sleep and less screen time is also critical to reduce depression," said Jerome Sarris, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University.
The findings also suggest that one's dietary pattern is partly implicated in the germination or exacerbation of depressed mood.
The results may inform public health policy by further highlighting the important relationship between people being encouraged and supported to engage in a range of health-promoting activities.
"In particular, maintaining optimal sleep and lessening screen time (which is often an issue in youth), while having adequate physical activity and good dietary quality, may reduce the symptoms of depression," Sarris noted.
The findings, published by the 'American Journal of Preventive Medicine,' reveal that replacing long periods spent sitting with sleeping is linked to reduced stress levels, improved mood and lower body mass index (BMI).
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