It’s sunny, it’s bright, it’s warm out- these are all great reason to turn off the Game of Thrones and go play outside. But why else should you get off your couch? Excessive sitting may actually increase your anxiety:
A recent study conducted by Deakin University’s Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in Australia found that sedentary activity could lead to mental health issues. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/15/513 This includes everything from too much TV to sitting at the computers for hours at a time- both common habits to TV today.
Published just last week, this study is the first of its kind to explore what sedentary behavior’s affects are on mental health. We all know that sedentary behavior (such as sitting around playing too many video games) can certainly lead to lower physical health, but not much has been said about the affects on mental health until now. 2 of the 7 tests included children and teens.
Out of the nine studies run in this research, five demonstrated a link between sedentary behavior and increased anxiety. More research may need to be conducted to confirm causation of the anxiety.
So, what’s a person to do about this?
- Start walking or jogging regularly. If you’ve found that exercise is an highly underutilized tool in your life when it comes to managing anxiety, now is a great time to start.
- Join a beach volleyball or tennis club. If you have too much stress or feeling depressed, reducing your social connection to others will only make it worse. Joining a low-pressure, team sport or activity team this summer can help you get outside, take your mind off things that may seem insurmountable right now and make new friends!
- Volunteer at a non-profit or summer camp for youth. One of the best ways to uplift your mood is by offering a helping hand. There are tons of children waiting to look up to your for wisdom, fun and lots of physical play! Getting involved with a summer camp as a counselor will get you moving and feeling like you are contributing to a larger mission