There are many days after work that I would personally prefer to unplug in front of a television. Due to my hectic schedule it’s hard for me to want to do anything other than just kick back and start watching TV all night long. It’s easier than ever to watch hours of television because of DVR technology, but too much TV and not enough exercise appear to add up to depression especially for women. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health that included data on nearly 50,000 women who participated as part of the Nurses’ Health Study, found that the women who reported exercising about 90 minutes or more daily were 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed as depressed as those who exercised less than those that did only 10 minutes per day. Another apparent cause for depression was the time the women spent watching television: the more hours per week in front of the screen, the higher the risk of depression. Researchers found that women who reported watching TV for three or more hours a day were 13 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than the women who rarely turned on the television. The researchers adjusted the data for other factors linked to depression such as weight, smoking and illnesses. Past studies have clearly shown that regular exercise is linked to a lower risk of depression. The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Dr. Shah, MD