Movement Behavior & Mental Health of Children & Youth

Movement Behavior & Mental Health of Children & Youth

A recent review of research found that there is a wealth of knowledge on the association between combined 24-hour movement behaviors (MB) (i.e., physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SED) and sleep and the mental health of children and youth.

The research paper was published in Mental Health and Physical Activity (2023).

The studies reviewed found that 21/27 (78%) articles reported a positive and 6/27 (22%) reported no association between combined MB and mental wellness.

Additionally, 23/27 (85%) reported a negative association between combined MB and indicators of mental illness and 4/27 (15%) reported no association.

We believe the studies in this review highlight the importance of addressing multiple movement-related behaviors for enhancing youth mental health, particularly physical activity, sleep, and sedentary behaviors such as screen time.

Targeting these behaviors within substance use prevention and intervention programs would likely lead to greater mental health outcomes among participating youth and reduce costs associated with providing individual risk behavior interventions.

View the entire paper:
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