According to the new research, low energy activities that include sitting down are associated with an increased risk of anxiety. Sedentary behavior are activities which include watching TV, playing electronic games or working at a computer. More understanding of these behaviors and how they may be linked to anxiety could help in developing strategies to share with this mental health problem.
Study by Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) in Australia has found that there is probably a link between sitting down and anxiety.
Megan Teychenne, lead researcher and lecturer at C-PAN clarified: ‘Anecdotally – we are seeing an increase in anxiety symptoms in our modern society, which seems to parallel the increase in sedentary behavior. Thus, we were interested to see whether these two factors were in fact linked.’
C-PAN researchers analyzed the results of nine studies that specifically examined the relationship between sedentary behavior and anxiety. It found that there did seem to be a link.
The team suggests the link between sedentary behavior and anxiety could be due to disturbances in sleep patterns, social withdrawal theory and poor metabolic health. As most of the studies included in this systematic-review were cross-sectional the researchers state more follow-up work studies are required to confirm whether or not anxiety is caused by sedentary behavior.
Megan Teychenne, said: ‘Our research showed that evidence is available to suggest a positive association between sitting time and anxiety symptoms.’
But conceded that more research was needed, saying: ‘however, the direction of this relationship still needs to be determined through longitudinal and interventional studies.’
Indeed, according to the NHS, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) is estimated to affect about 1 in every 25 people in the UK.