The sedentary lifestyle like sitting, playing video all day may increase the chances of teen depression. Times are changing. More and more of our days is spent seated in front of a desk, TV, computer, or just lying in bed. This is true for people of all ages. Unfortunately, there’s reason to believe that this kind of lifestyle in teen years puts them at risk of depression later in life.
A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry in February 2020 tracked the body movements of adolescents and found a higher chance of depression in subjects that were less active. While we cannot know from the study if there is a causal link between the two, this is cause for concern. We all know that lack of physical activity puts people at risk of issues like obesity and diabetes, but to have the issue compounded by mental health issues is definitely troubling.
Sedentary Lifestyle in kids.
We know that physical activity in children and adolescents is associated with higher self-esteem. Many people with depression find that getting and staying active helps them to feel better. Not only does physical activity reward the body with endorphins. But the body is healthier. It’s a matter of increased wellbeing inside and out.
Also, humans are a social species. Social interaction helps to combat low mood. Even the most introverted among us require it at some point.
Getting up and staying active means you’re far more likely to see and interact with others. This is extremely important during the formative years. Yes, teens spend a lot of time virtually interacting through social media, but nothing beats meeting someone face to face. So, how can we combat this trend? Well, we can search for physical activities for our young people to do. Sports teams, clubs, etc., are great ways to get our teens moving. Skateboarding, for example, is something that a lot of people, young and old, enjoy.
Change your Sedentary lifestyle.
If you don’t have the disposable income to spend, don’t worry. There are lots of other ways, too. A simple regular soccer match with friends in on open field can be a great, fun addition to a teen’s life. Or even if they aren’t into any sports, just going for walks with friends and family can be a big help. For example, they could walk to school if they live close enough, instead of taking a bus.
Sedentary Lifestyle in Adolescents
If your teen isn’t keen on sports, you can still get them moving. Chores are not only great ways to teach responsibility, but good ways to keep them off the couch. You could also encourage them to pursue hobbies like photography or insect collecting. Not only would they be active, but they would be doing something they enjoy, which would motivate them to keep doing it.
The risk that the modern Western sedentary lifestyle poses to mental health is troubling, but if we get creative, we can find ways to combat it.