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Association of mentally-active and mentally-passive sedentary behaviour with depressive symptoms among adolescents.

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Werneck, André O 
Hoare, Erin 
Stubbs, Brendon 
van Sluijs, Esther MF 
Corder, Kirsten 


BACKGROUND: The evidence on the association between sedentary behaviour and depression in adolescence is mixed. We aimed to investigate the association between mentally-active and mentally-passive sedentary behaviours at 11 years (11y) and depressive symptoms at 14y, and to examine potential mediators. METHODS: UK Millennium Cohort Study data were used (n=7,124; 49% boys). At 11y, participants self-reported frequency of mentally-passive (listening to music, internet use) and mentally-active sedentary behaviours (reading, playing electronic games). Additional parental-reported behaviours (mentally-passive: TV viewing; mentally-active: homework) were summed with self-reported behaviours to represent continuous indicators of mentally-active and mentally-passive sedentary behaviour. Depressive symptoms were assessed (at 11y and 14y) using the short-version of Mood and Feelings Questionnaire. Body mass index (BMI), mentally-passive sedentary behaviour and cognition at 14y were examined as potential mediators. Linear regression models were adjusted for confounders and stratified by sex. Subsequent mediation analyses reporting e-values were used to assess unmeasured confounding. RESULTS: Among girls, mentally-passive sedentary behaviour at 11y was associated with later depressive symptoms (14y) [β:0.089 (95%CI:0.055-0.122), e-value:1.32]. This association was mediated by BMI [5.6% (95%CI:4.1%-8.6%)] and mentally-passive sedentary behaviour [105.6% (95%CI:79.6%-156.7%)]. No associations were observed in boys or between mentally-active sedentary behaviour and later depressive symptoms. LIMITATIONS: The parental report of behaviours and the assessment of mediators and outcome in the same wave are the main limitations. CONCLUSION: Future interventions aiming to improve mental health among girls could aim to reduce mentally-passive sedentary behaviour in early teens and could target potential mediators including BMI.



Depression, Passive, Physical activity, Psychological distress, Sitting, Adolescent, Cohort Studies, Depression, Female, Humans, Male, Sedentary Behavior, Self Report, Surveys and Questionnaires

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J Affect Disord

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Elsevier BV
MRC (MC_UU_00006/5)
Medical Research Council (MR/K023187/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/7)
André O. Werneck is supported by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (FAPESP process: 2018/19183-1). Funding for this study and the work of all authors was supported, wholly or in part, by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence (RES-590-28-0002). Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Department of Health, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. The work of Kirsten Corder, Esther M F van Sluijs was supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/7). Brendon Stubbs is supported by a Clinical Lectureship (ICA-CL-2017-03-001) jointly funded by Health Education England (HEE) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Brendon Stubbs is part funded by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Brendon Stubbs is also supported by the Maudsley Charity, King’s College London and the NIHR South London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) funding. EH is funded by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (1156909). This paper presents independent research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the acknowledged institutions.