Sitting All Day Is Also Ruining Your Mental Health

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Golden Retriever Working at Desk.
Photo: Bloomimage/Corbis

It is finally Friday, glorious Friday, which probably means you’ve spent most of the last week sitting. Sitting at your desk, sitting on the couch, sitting on the train, sitting, sitting, sitting. You know at this point that sitting is doing all kinds of terrible things to your physical health, but the Association for Psychological Science would like to remind you that it’s deteriorating your mental health, too, according to a recent study: 

Data for the study was collected from 3,367 state government employees as part of a broader health outreach program. Participants filled out a short, validated psychological assessment for symptoms of anxiety and depression over the last 4 weeks. The researchers also asked participants to complete a scale assessing their current levels of physical activity, in addition to surveys designed to get at potential confounding factors, such as leisure-time physical activity and general satisfaction with the workplace. 

Employees who sat at least six hours a day reported more symptoms of anxiety and depression than those who sat for less than three hours a day, the researchers reported. Suddenly, I have the urge to get up and go for a long walk.