Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: A review of reviews

Biddle, Stuart J. H. and Asare, Mavis (2011) Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: A review of reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45 (11). pp. 886-895. ISSN 0306-3674

Abstract

Objective: To synthesise reviews investigating physical activity and depression, anxiety, self-esteem and cognitive functioning in children and adolescents and to assess the association between sedentary behaviour and mental health by performing a brief review. Methods: Searches were performed in 2010. Inclusion criteria specifi ed review articles reporting chronic physical activity and at least one mental health outcome that included depression, anxiety/stress, self-esteem and cognitive functioning in children or adolescents. Results: Four review articles reported evidence concerning depression, four for anxiety, three for self-esteem and seven for cognitive functioning. Nine primary studies assessed associations between sedentary behaviour and mental health. Physical activity has potentially benefi cial effects for reduced depression, but the evidence base is limited. Intervention designs are low in quality, and many reviews include cross-sectional studies. Physical activity interventions have been shown to have a small benefi cial effect for reduced anxiety, but the evidence base is limited. Physical activity can lead to improvements in self-esteem, at least in the short term. However, there is a paucity of good quality research. Reviews on physical activity and cognitive functioning have provided evidence that routine physical activity can be associated with improved cognitive performance and academic achievement, but these associations are usually small and inconsistent. Primary studies showed consistent negative associations between mental health and sedentary behaviour. Conclusion:s: Association between physical activity and mental health in young people is evident, but research designs are often weak and effects are small to moderate. Evidence shows small but consistent associations between sedentary screen time and poorer mental health.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 23:57
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 23:57
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31860

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