Walking helps ease symptoms of depression, according to research

Is anyone else feeling a little under the weather since January? We’ve been struggling to feel merry since Christmas and it has a lot to do with the dark and dreary days. We barely have time to go out and enjoy the sunshine which is really dampening our spirits.

Squeezing in time for a stroll in the sunshine is impossible when you’re working during the day but experts have stressed that even going out for 15 minutes at lunchtime can help a lot!

Researchers at University College London found that sitting for long periods of time is linked to depression. Sitting inside can be incredibly dangerous for you both physically and mentally so making time for a mid-afternoon stroll is a must, the team stressed.

The study analysed the sitting behaviour of over 4,000 young people and later studied their mental health at the age of 18. Between the ages of 12 and 18, the amount of time spent inside spiked from seven hours and 10 minutes to eight hours and 43 minutes.

That extra hour spent inside increased their chances of depression, the team found. They revealed that the participants who spent over eight hours inside had higher depression scores than those who spent less time indoors.

The team recommended making time for at least 60 minutes of outdoor time per day. Grab your jacket and earphones and stroll for as long as you can, once it is pouring rain outside.

If you can’t spend a full hour outside then why not get off the bus earlier in the morning so you’re spending more time outside in the daylight? Or simply walk to the local cafe at lunch instead of jumping in your car?

“We should be encouraging people of all ages to move more, and to sit less, as it’s good for both our physical and mental health,” said lead author of the study, Aaron Kandola.

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