Watching TV triggers depression in women

Watching too much TV can trigger depression in women, by not allowing the body and the brain to be stimulated.  Even if it has its positive sides – it keeps us informed and entertained, the television watching activity must be occasional and not an everyday habit. Studies have shown that physical exercise keeps people, and especially women, away from depressing thoughts.
According to an article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who dedicate little time to watching TV and more time to physical activity are at a lower risk of depression than those who watch lots of TV and forget to exercise. Michel Lucas from Harvard School of Public Health is the author of a recent study on the matter. Together with his colleagues, he took data from the questionnaires filled out by women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1992 and 2000. Of them, almost 50,000 had no depression signs in 1996. The questionnaires included data about the type and the amount of physical activity done on a daily basis. It also included information regarding the watching TV habits. After concluding how much exercise and how much TV watching these women had in their schedule, the researchers then studied the data in the follow-up (from 1996 to 2006), collecting the information regarding depression: whether they were diagnosed, whether they thought they had it and whether they were taking any antidepressants.

Here are the conclusions of the study:

The follow-up resulted in over 6,500 cases of depression. After eliminating other factors that may have contributed to the condition, such as weight, smoking or certain illnesses, it was noticed that most of the majority of women with depression had low physical activity and watched TV a lot.

As a conclusion, women who exercise 90 minutes a day had lowered their depression risk with 20%. Women who watch TV 21 hours or more per week had increased their depression risk with 13%. The two activities have contributed independently to the depression risk, which means that even if you watch TV a lot, you can still be safe from depression, if you exercise a lot, as well.

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Mara is a life coach and soon, she will be a psychotherapist. She has been involved in several wellness projects and is now here for you. She will give you hints on how to reach that healthy lifestyle you always wanted. Ask Mara a question and she might just answer in one of her articles. To contact Mara, e-mail her at

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