How Might Sitting Relate To Anxiety Levels?


Amount of time spent sitting seems to have a moderate link to people’s anxiety levels, according to a systematic review of studies in BMC Public Health.

The researchers from Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in Australia reviewed studies that had investigated the association between sedentary behavior and the risk of anxiety.

The researchers found only nine, varied types of observational studies, and acknowledged that the studies provided “limited evidence” and that some of their findings were confounded by the fact that they involved people doing very different types of activities while sitting. Nevertheless, overall they noted that longer time spent sitting seemed to be linked with increased levels of anxiety. “(M)oderate evidence was found for the positive relationship between sitting time and anxiety risk, whilst inconsistent evidence was found for the relationship between screen time, television viewing time, computer use, and anxiety risk,” they concluded, recommending more formal research into the issue.

Teychenne, Megan, Sarah A. Costigan, and Kate Parker. “The Association between Sedentary Behaviour and Risk of Anxiety: A Systematic Review.” BMC Public Health 15, no. 1 (June 19, 2015): 513. doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1843-x. (Full text)

Increased anxiety associated with sitting down (BioMed Central press release on ScienceDaily, June 19, 2015)