Physical activity in adolescence has previously been thought to reduce depression symptoms, but a new study finds that there is no clear-cut association between the two.
Researchers examined data from a longitudinal study of teenagers from 2005 through 2010, and evaluated various levels of participants' physical activity.
Previous research has established a palliative link between physical activity and depressive symptoms in adults, and the current study attempted to find whether the same link could be established with adolescents.
When comparing teens' physical activity levels at age 14 with depressive symptoms at age 17, no link between the two could be established.
"Our findings do not eliminate the possibility that PA [physical activity] positively affects depressed mood in the general population; rather, we suggest that this effect may be small or nonexistent during the period of adolescence," researchers said.
The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.