Sitting down leads to increased anxiety

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Melbourne, June 19 (IANS) If you are in a sitting job, you are more likely to suffer from anxiety as a new report shows that low-energy activities that involve sitting down are associated with an increased risk of anxiety.

These activities, which include watching TV, working at a computer or playing electronic games are called sedentary behaviour.

Anxiety is a mental health illness that affects more than 27 million people.

Earlier studies have shown a link between sedentary behaviour and physical health problems like obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

But there has been little research into the link between sedentary behaviour and mental health.

This is the first systematic review to examine the relationship between anxiety and sedentary behaviour.

“Our research showed that evidence is available to suggest a positive association between sitting time and anxiety symptoms – however, the direction of this relationship still needs to be determined through longitudinal and interventional studies,” said lead researcher Megan Teychenne, lecturer at Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) in Australia.

Researchers analysed the results of nine studies that specifically examined the association between sedentary behaviour and anxiety.

It was found in five of the nine studies that an increase in sedentary behaviour was associated with an increased risk of anxiety.

In four of the studies it was found that total sitting time was associated with increased risk of anxiety.

The evidence about screen time (TV and computer use) was less strong but one study did find that 36 percent of high school students who had more than two hours of screen time were more likely to experience anxiety compared to those who had less than two hours.

The link between sedentary behaviour and anxiety could be due to disturbances in sleep patterns, social withdrawal theory and poor metabolic health.

The study was published in BMC Public Health.

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