Longitudinal associations between physical activity and mental health in adolescents. [Asociaciones longitudinales entre actividad física y salud mental en adolescentes]

Daniel Fernández Argüelles, David Sánchez Oliva, José Antonio Cecchini Estrada, Javier Fernández Río



There is a lack of studies that examine the longitudinal relationship between physical activity (PA) and mental health with accelerometers in adolescent populations. The current study aimed to investigate whether changes in PA intensities and sedentary time (ST) are associated with mental health in a cohort of adolescents. 246 (130 boys, 116 girls) high school adolescents aged 13-15 years old (13.28 ± .57) were recruited in a city from the north of Spain. PA and ST levels were assessed by accelerometry.  Psychological well-being (PWB) was measured using a self-reported validated questionnaire. Regression linear models were implemented by including PWB as the dependent variable and PA intensities and ST as predictors. Girls who increased light, moderate, and vigorous PA had significantly better PSW at follow-up, whereas no longitudinal associations were found for boys. No association between ST and PSW was identified. The results suggest changes in PA, but no in ST, have an association with PWB in adolescents. Nevertheless, the associations were stronger in girls than in boys. Because girls showed worse PWB at both time points, an optimal threshold for PA influence on mental health could explain the results. Future research is warranted.


Actualmente faltan estudios que examinen la asociación longitudinal entre actividad física (AF) y salud mental con acelerómetros en adolescentes. El objetivo del estudio fue investigar si cambios en la AF y el tiempo sedentario (TS) se asocian con la salud mental en una cohorte de adolescentes. Participaron 246 adolescentes (130 varones, 116 mujeres) de entre 13 y 15 años (13.28 ± .57) de una ciudad del norte de España. AF y TS se midieron mediante acelerometría. El bienestar psicológico (BP) fue medido mediante un cuestionario validado. Se implementaron modelos de regresión linear incluyendo el BP como variable dependiente, y las intensidades de AF y el TS como predictores. Las mujeres que incrementaron su AF ligera, moderada y vigorosa incrementaron significativamente su BP en T2, mientras que esto no ocurrió en los varones. No hubo asociación entre el TS y el BP. Los resultados sugieren que cambios en la AF y no en el TS, se asocian a cambios en el BP en adolescentes. Sin embargo, esta asociación se dio solo en las mujeres. Debido a que estas mostraron peor BP en ambas mediciones, es posible que exista un umbral óptimo para los efectos de la AF en la salud mental. Se requieren más estudios al respecto.


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Palabras clave/key words

physical activity; mental health; adolescents; longitudinal; accelerometer. [actividad física; salud mental; adolescentes; longitudinal; acelerómetro]

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RICYDE. Revista Internacional de Ciencias del Deporte

Publisher: Ramón Cantó Alcaraz
ISSN:1885-3137 - Periodicidad Trimestral / Quarterly
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