Too much TV and not enough exercise appear to add up to depression for older women. A new investigation from the Harvard School of Public Health that included data on nearly 50,000 women who participated in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study, found that the women who reported exercising most (90 minutes or more daily) were 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed as depressed than those who exercised least (less than 10 minutes per day).
Another apparent risk for depression was the time the women spent watching television: the more hours per week in front of the screen, the higher the risk of depression. The Harvard researchers found that women who reported watching TV for three or more hours a day were 13 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than the women who rarely turned on the tube.
To arrive at their numbers, the researchers adjusted the data for other factors linked to depression such as weight, smoking and illnesses. Earlier studies have clearly shown that regular exercise is linked to a lower risk of depression.