Kids Who Play Sports Less Likely to Suffer From Depression

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.

There’s plenty of heart-healthy reasons to get children involved in recreational sports, but now the emotional benefits may be just as important. That’s because a new study finds active children are less likely to experience depression.

That conclusion had already been reached in previous studies for adults, but researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology say they’re the first to study the effect in children. The study is published in the February 2021 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers studied 800 children between the ages of six and ten over a four-year period. To get a good take on the emotional health of the children the researchers did interviews with their parents throughout the years.

To test out their physical activity levels the researchers tracked the kids with accelerometers. During those three intervals, the kids were asked to wear the accelerometers for seven consecutive days, 24 hours a day, and only remove them to bathe. Only those participants with at least three days of recordings and 480 minutes of activity per day were included. Researchers also took into account their body mass index when they were tracking their amount of physical activity.

The researchers ultimately found that the kids who had the highest levels of physical activity had fewer signs of depression when they were reassessed after two years.

Source: Study Finds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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