The role of physical activity in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression in children: An overview

Patrick W C LAU*, Erica Y.Y. Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Anxiety and depression were the major mental health disease in worldwide (Zoeller, 2007). The prevalence of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents were accelerating at an alarming rate. Previous studies reported that 5.7% to 17.7% children were suffering form anxiety and 2% to 5% of them with diagnosed depression. Anxiety might lead to serious impairment to individual daily lives and depressed individuals were more likely to suffer from other chronic disease (i.e. diabetes, cardiovascular disease), health risk behaviors (i.e. drug abuse and alcoholism) and committed suicide. Growing body of research indicated that physical activity (PA) was a protective factor of anxiety and depression and adopted it as a non-pharmaceutical for treating anxiety and depression in adults. However, issue in respect to the effectiveness, mechanism and the application of PA in the treatment and prevention of childhood anxiety and depression is still equivocal. Therefore, this chapter provided an overview on 1) the effect of PA in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression in children; 2) the mechanism of PA on anxiety and depression, and 3) PA recommendation for treating and preventing anxiety and depression treatment and prevention in children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Sports Psychology
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Pages403-413
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781607412564
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Childhood anxiety and depression
  • Physical activity

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