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Why Sitting May Make Anxiety Worse

Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 7 Comments

Starre Vartan | Mother Nature Network

Sitting at desk for long periods is unhealthy

If you sit all day, get creative about ways to get up and move around.

If you have a sedentary job, here's another reminder to get up out of that chair: A new study says sitting most of the time may increase your anxiety levels.

The study, which was run by Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) in Australia, was a review of a number of other studies. Scientists often do this kind of meta-analysis to see if there is agreement (or disagreement) across a range of research. The results not only mean that a larger number of subjects can be examined at one time, but can also point researchers in the right direction for further studies.

Related Article: 12 Perceptual Mindsets that Cause You Anxiety & Depression

Dr. Megan Teychenne of Deakin looked at nine studies, including seven on adults and two on kids and teenagers. Five of them found associations between sitting and anxiety: The more time someone sat, the more anxiety they reported. Four studies found total sitting time linked with anxiety levels. There was also a correlation between kids and screen time and higher levels of anxiety. Those who had more than two hours a day of TV or screen time were more anxious.

It's worth noting that these studies, even in aggregate, show a correlation, not causation. It could be, for instance, that nervous people tend to watch more TV, or take jobs where they sit all day. But they results definitely worth paying attention to; strong links between exercise and reduced anxiety (which do show causation) mean that the likelihood of causation being a factor here is high.

Related Article: 4 Lesser-Known Herbal Remedies for Anxiety (Tried and Tested)

“From the results we did find sitting was linked to increased risk of anxiety, so it is important for both adults and children to try and sit less during the day,” Teychenne said in a release.

Get moving

I use exercise to minimize anxiety (and so does Lena Dunham). It's well-known that when you work out, your brain releases natural endorphins, which elevate your mood both immediately and for some time after. But while that 45 minutes at the gym is great, more movement throughout the day is important too. Better yet, get outside — being in natural spaces can also help anxiety.


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7 Reader Comments

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  1.' Virginia South says:

    Always found that exercise is the best way to relieve anxiety and stress.

  2.' Jessica Tez Terry says:

    Hannah Manson Haley Gilbert

  3.' Palwasha Khan says:

    “Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk.”

  4.' Kristi Degnan Blondeau says:

    Karen Degnan Kida. You need to stand more at work.

  5.' Vita Rodriguez says:

    Sitting all those years flattened my butt, it’s gone-Flat as a board.

  6.' Ajsa Crnisanin says:

    Kyal Forman

  7.' Caitlin Harris says:

    Amy Phillips ?

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