A healthy lifestyle, beneficial for mental health

English Section / 19 septembrie

A healthy lifestyle, beneficial for mental health

Versiunea în limba română

The well-known saying "a healthy mind in a healthy body" is valid in both senses, according to medical experts. A healthy lifestyle has long been associated with good physical health, but recent research suggests that its effects also extend to mental health. Seven factors of a healthy lifestyle, which include moderate alcohol consumption, a healthy diet, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, abstaining from smoking, limiting sedentary behavior, and frequent social connections, are associated with a lower risk of depression, according to findings from a recent study published in the scientific journal Nature Mental Health. The study was jointly conducted by an international team of researchers from various institutes, including Fudan University in China and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The team identified these seven factors of a healthy lifestyle by analyzing data collected from nearly 290,000 individuals from the UK Biobank, an extensive biomedical database and research resource. According to the results, among these seven factors, getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night has the most significant impact, reducing the risk of depression by 22%. This is closely followed by abstaining from smoking, which reduces the risk by 20%. Maintaining frequent social connections reduces the risk of depression by 18%, while regular physical activity reduces this risk by 14%. Limiting sedentary behavior to low to moderate levels reduces the risk of depression by 13%, moderate alcohol consumption reduces it by 11%, and adopting a healthy diet reduces it by 6%. The study also noted that brain structure and immunometabolic and genetic mechanisms could explain the link between lifestyle and depression.

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