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Gary S. Goldfield, Katherine Henderson, Annick Buchholz, Nicole Obeid, Hien Nguyen and Martine F. Flament


To examine the association between volume and intensity of physical activity (PA) and depressive symptoms, anxiety, and body image in a large sample of adolescents in Ottawa and surrounding region.


A total of 1259 (n = 746 girls and n = 513 boys) students responded to surveys on leisure time PA, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and body image.


A dose response effect of intensity of PA and psychological distress was observed whereby those who performed greater bouts of vigorous PA exhibited better psychological adjustment than adolescents engaging in mild to moderate intensity activity. Gender impacted the results as vigorous PA was associated with reduced depression but not anxiety in boys, and reduced anxiety but not depression in girls. The positive association between total volume of PA and psychological functioning in the overall sample was no longer significant when gender was considered, except for reduced anxiety in girls.


Vigorous PA was associated with reductions in depressive symptoms, anxiety and improvements in body esteem in adolescents, but these associations were differentially influenced by gender. Future research is needed to elucidate the efficacy of vigorous PA as a treatment for mental health problems in male and female adolescents.

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Rachel G. Walker, Joyce Obeid, Thanh Nguyen, Hilde Ploeger, Nicole A. Proudfoot, Cecily Bos, Anthony K. Chan, Linda Pedder, Robert M. Issenman, Katrin Scheinemann, Maggie J. Larché, Karen McAssey and Brian W. Timmons

The objectives of this study were to (i) assess sedentary time and prevalence of screen-based sedentary behaviors of children with a chronic disease and (ii) compare sedentary time and prevalence of screen-based sedentary behaviors to age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Sixty-five children (aged 6-18 years) with a chronic disease participated: survivors of a brain tumor, hemophilia, type 1 diabetes mellitus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and Crohn’s disease. Twenty-nine of these participants were compared with age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Sedentary time was measured objectively by an ActiGraph GT1M or GT3x accelerometer worn for 7 consecutive days and defined as less than 100 counts per min. A questionnaire was used to assess screen-based sedentary behaviors. Children with a chronic disease engaged in an average of 10.2 ± 1.4 hr of sedentary time per day, which comprised 76.5 ± 7.1% of average daily monitoring time. There were no differences between children with a chronic disease and controls in sedentary time (adjusted for wear time, p = .06) or in the prevalence of TV watching, and computer or video game usage for varying durations (p = .78, p = .39 and, p = .32 respectively). Children with a chronic disease, though relatively healthy, accumulate high levels of sedentary time, similar to those of their healthy peers.