Association of mentally-active and mentally-passive sedentary behaviour with depressive symptoms among adolescents.
Journal of affective disorders 2021 ; 294: 143-150.
PubMed ID : 34298218
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.
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.
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.
The parental report of behaviours and the assessment of mediators and outcome in the same wave are the main limitations.
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.