Is all activity equal? Associations between different domains of physical activity and depressive symptom severity among 261,121 European adults

De Cocker, Katrien and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7663-6895 and Teychenne, Megan J. and Bennie, Jason ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8668-8998 (2021) Is all activity equal? Associations between different domains of physical activity and depressive symptom severity among 261,121 European adults. Depression and Anxiety, 38 (9). pp. 950-960. ISSN 1091-4269

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Abstract

Background: Physical activity is often associated with better mental health. However, there is evidence that the domain of physical activity influences the strength and direction of this association. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the associations between different domains of physical activity and depression among a large sample of adults living in the European Union.

Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on 261,121 adults, recruited in the European Health Interview Survey (wave 2). Validated items were used to assess physical activity domains (i.e. work-related, transport-related, leisure-time aerobic and muscle-strengthening) and depression symptom severity (8-item Personal Health Questionnaire). Generalized linear models with Poisson regressions provided adjusted prevalence ratios (APR) of depressive symptom severity categories across the physical activity domains.

Results: Compared to doing no physical activity, any physical effort at work (APR:0.82-0.86), moderate, high and very high levels of transport-related (APR:0.69-0.83) and aerobic leisure-time activity (APR:0.78-0.87), and 3 days/week of muscle-strengthening (APR:0.93) were associated with a lower prevalence of mild depressive symptom severity. Moreover, doing any level of physical activity in any domain was mostly associated with a lower prevalence of moderate (APR:0.43-0.80), moderate-severe (APR:0.34-0.82) and severe (APR:0.26-0.56) depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Favorable associations were seen between any domain (leisure-time, transport- and work-related) of physical activity and depressive symptom severity. The more severe the symptoms, the stronger the associations. Both modalities of leisure-time physical activity (aerobic and muscle-strengthening) demonstrated beneficial associations with depression, but slightly more so for aerobic physical activity.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 13 April 2021. Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2021 05:00
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: depression, exercise, mental health, muscle strength, patient health questionnaire, recreation, transportation
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/da.23157
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42145

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