A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests that there’s a clear connection between playing games and mental health.
Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University College London found that people who were more interested in sports were at a greater risk of developing depression compared with those who played other forms of media such as music or watching television.
The study involved 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64.
The researchers found that there was no link to playing sports or watching TV.
People who played sports were also more likely to have higher levels of depression, anxiety and fatigue compared with people who played music or video games.
However, there was a clear link between participation in sports and mental well-being.
Dr Mary Beth Williams, from the Department of Psychology at the University, said: “There’s been a lot of speculation about the link between sport and depression in recent years, but this is the first study that really looks at the impact of playing sports on mental health.”
“This suggests that this might not be a one-off thing.
There may be a connection between physical activity and mental wellbeing in people.”
It is believed that people with a healthy lifestyle are at greater risk for depression and other mental health issues, including anxiety, but the link may be more complex than previously thought.
“The link between mental health and exercise may be mediated by other factors, but it could also be due to the way exercise is done,” said Dr Williams.
“Our study has some important limitations, for example it only looked at people who had played sports, but many people may not be exercising at the moment and the risk may be increased if they are.”
However, our study shows that, overall, participation in sport is associated with improved mental health outcomes.
“There is a huge gap between what is known about the role of physical activity in mental health, and what is the best way to make sure we can improve our mental health?”
We think it is important to consider that, in the future, we may be able to get better at improving people’s mental health in different ways.
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