Sitting down for too long may increase your anxiety

I read many studies every day about mental health and anxiety. Some I read and think that sounds a bit farfetched or think well, that study is a bit specific and maybe not accurate.

Yesterday I read a study just like that. It stated that playing video games can make you anxious. Its reasons were that it is because you are sat down for a long period of time. On reading the article, I thought to myself, well actually, it probably isn’t the video game making you anxious then, it is the sitting for so long, you could just as well become anxious sat reading a book for a long period of time, or binge watching Orange Is The New Black on Netflix.

I dismissed the article and moved on with my day. So imagine how surprised I was to see this latest article pop into my inbox this morning, correctly titled ‘Sitting down for too long may increase anxiety’ from Live Science. Brilliant, I thought, this is what the last article should have said. So here is the study as it should have been from the beginning.

A new study has shown that sitting for too long – whether that be sitting at your computer or TV or sitting in the car on your commute – may increase your risk of anxiety. Researchers looked at 9 previous studies that assessed both people’s anxiety levels and their sedentary behaviour adding up how much time the participants spent doing activities such as watching TV, sat on the computer, basically anything that required them to sit for a period of time. They noticed a correlation, noted as ‘moderate evidence’ between the increased sedentary behaviour and higher anxiety levels.

This study, published by the Journal BMC Public health may help health care providers develop strategies that people could use to manage their anxiety levels.

So there it is, while sitting down and playing video games for too long can increase your anxiety levels, there is a chance that it is the sitting, rather than the act of playing the games, is the root of the problem.