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By On April 17th, 2008

Physical Activity Reduces the Risk for Psychological Distress

According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, as little as 20 minutes of physical activity a week is associated with lower risk for psychological distress. The cross-sectional study, which surveyed nearly 20,000 Scottish adults, examined self-reports of psychological distress as well as levels of physical activity. Physical activity was to include heavy domestic activity, sports, and walking. According to the study, decrease in risk was likely to occur more as levels of physical activity increased. The following is an excerpt of an abstract from the British Journal of Sports Medicine that summarizes the study:

Objectives: Regular physical activity is thought to be associated with better mental health, although there is lack of consensus regarding the optimal amount and type of activity to achieve these benefits. We examined the association between mental health and physical activity behaviors among a representative sample of men and women from the Scottish Health Surveys. Methods: Self reported physical activity was measured and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was administered in order to obtain information on current mental health. Participants were 19 842 men and women. We calculated risk estimates per category of physical activity sessions per week using logistic regression models.

Click here to read the rest of the abstract from the British Journal of Sports Medicine

Pastoral Action Point: We live in a largely sedentary society. Due to technological advances and our advantaged position in global markets, some U.S. citizens see very little physical activity, if any, during their daily routine. Additionally, trends in recreational activities among school age children and adolescents are changing dramatically. Gaming systems, television, and the Internet, to name a few, have all but replaced outdoor activities for some. With all of these societal changes in mind and with so much at stake, both physically and mentally, it is important to teach the value of physical activity within the walls of the church.

Scripture Verse:
1 Corinthians 6:19 – “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

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