Mentally-passive sedentary behavior and incident depression: Mediation by inflammatory markers

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A paper titled “Mentally-passive sedentary behavior and incident depression: Mediation by inflammatory markers” was recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. A summary of the article and citation details are re-posted below. The full article can be found here.



Sedentary behavior (SB; time spent sitting, as distinct from lack of exercise or physical activity) is associated with depression, yet little is known about the relationship between different types of SB (e.g., mentally-passive versus mentally-active) with depression and potential biological mediators of these associations.


We used cohort data from the 1958 National Child Development Study (n = 4607; 50.4 % women), conducted in UK, employing the 44 y and 46 y waves as baseline, and the 50 y and 55 y waves as follow-up. Participants reported time spent in TV viewing and watching videos (mentally-passive SB); and, time sitting while doing light activities such as deskwork or driving a car during worktime (mentally-active SB). Depression diagnosis was self-reported during the initial and follow-up waves. Waist circumference, C-reactive protein, and glycated hemoglobin were examined as potential mediators.


Mentally-passive SB was associated with incident depression (HR: 1.43; 95%CI: 1.19; 1.71), while there was no association for mentally-active SB. Waist circumference (coefficient: −0.03; 95%CI: −0.05; −0.01; 9.2 %) and C-reactive protein (coefficient: −0.03; 95%CI: −0.04; −0.01; 8.3 %), but not glycated hemoglobin, partly mediated the association for mentally-passive SB.


In the relationship of mentally-passive SB with incident depression, the mediating contributions of waist circumference and C-reactive protein point to possible inflammatory-related mechanisms.


    Werneck, A. O., Owen, N., Araujo, R. H. O., Silva, D. R., & Hallgren, M. (2023). Mentally-passive sedentary behavior and incident depression: Mediation by inflammatory markers. Journal of Affective Disorders, 339, 847–853.

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