The impact of physical activity on depression during the transition to retirement
Gomes, Mackenzie Elizabeth
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BACKGROUND: Depression is a chronic mood disorder. It is commonly characterized by persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, but depression does not present the same in everyone. There are many pharmacological treatments such as antidepressants that are used to treat depression. Increasing research shows evidence to support non-pharmacological treatments for depression such as physical activity. OBJECTIVE: The overall goal of the current study is to evaluate the association of physical activity with prevalent depression and to determine whether these associations are different according to sex, BMI, percent protein intake, occupation status and transitional occupation status. METHODS: In this study, we utilized publicly available data from Framingham Offspring study participants who attended exams 5 (n=3181). Our primary analysis included 2,327 participants who completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale and self-reported physical activity. Our secondary analysis included only participants who also attended exam 5. Physical activity was categorized dichotomously; walking 0-4 blocks was considered inactive, while 5-100 blocks was considered active. Adjusted mean depression scores and odds ratios were calculated for physical activity categories adjusted for age, sex, and BMI. RESULTS: We reported that inactive individuals were relatively older, had a slightly higher median BMI, and were more often female. Inactive individuals exhibited a lower mean depression score than those individuals who are active after adjustments (15.6 ± 0.2 versus 14.8 ± 0.1). Being active, was associated with a 27% lower odds of depression compared to being inactive (OR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.60-0.88; p=0.0009). Among participants transitioning to retirement (at exam 6) from employment (at exam 5), active individuals had a 64% lower odds of depression than those inactive individuals (OR: 0.36; CI: 0.19-0.70; p=0.002). In contrast, among participants who remained employed from exam 5 to exam 6, the association of physical activity with depression was attenuated and not statistically significant (OR: 0.82 ; CI:0.63-1.06; p=0.134) CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that being active is associated with decreased depression scores and lower odds of depression. This relationship appears to be especially strong in individuals transitioning to retirement. Future longitudinal studies are needed to further assess the association between physical activity and depression status.