Boys who do structured exercise less likely to be depressed
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
Comberton Village College
Grade SO2 - £29,636
Comberton, Cambridge, UK
DPD Coaching
£19K per annum
Horsham, UK
star job
Urban Retreat
Knightsbridge, London, UK
Strip Wax Bar
Competitive salary - dependant upon experience
Central London, London, UK
University of Leeds
£22,659 to £26,243 p.a
Leeds, UK

Boys who do structured exercise less likely to be depressed

Job opportunities
Jump Giants
location: Burton on the Wolds, Loughborough, UK
Kirklees Active Leisure
location: Kirklees, UK
City University of London
£29,515 to £36,261
location: Northampton Square, London, UK
more jobs

A new study has found that taking part in structured exercise such as team Sports can reduce levels of depression in boys from the age of nine to 11.

Researchers at Washington University in St Louis found children taking part had larger hippocampi volumes – a part of the brain known to play a role in depression, memory and stress response.

Lisa Gorham, lead author of the study, said: “Our findings illuminate the relationships between involvement in sports and depressive symptoms in kids as young as nine.

"We found that involvement in sports is related to greater hippocampal volume in both boys and girls, and is related to reduced depression in boys, but this did not apply to not non-sport activities such as music or art.”

The relationships were particularly strong for children participating in sports that involved structure – such as a school team sports – rather than informal sports.

The findings suggest that there may be added benefits of the team or structured component of sports.

Gorham said the results indicate an association between sports involvement and hippocampal volume in girls, but unlike boys, no additional association with depression. “This might mean that different factors contribute to depression in girls, or that a stronger association to sports involvement might emerge at a later developmental period for girls,” she proposed.

Researchers said the results are correlational, not causational – perhaps participating in sports leads to increased hippocampal volume and decreased depression, or maybe children who are more depressed are less likely to engage in sports and also have smaller hippocampal volume.

“Either scenario could have important implications for understanding childhood depression”, they said.

"The fact these relationships were strongest for team or structured sports suggests there might be something about the combination of exercise and the social support or structure that comes from being on a team that can be useful at preventing or treating depression in young people," said Gorham.

Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus.


The report – 'Involvement in Sports, Hippocampal Volume, and Depressive Symptoms in Children' – has been published in the journal 'Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging', which is published by Elsevier.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
A new study has found that taking part in structured exercise such as team sports can reduce levels of depression in boys from the age of nine to 11.

More News

1 - 15 of 38,794
26 Jun 2019
One of England's most successful rugby clubs, Leicester Tigers, has been put up for sale. Simon Cohen, Leicester Tigers CEO revealed plans for the sale ... More
26 Jun 2019
Women's fashion magazine Stylist has entered the fitness market by opening a female-only boutique studio in London's affluent Mayfair district. The studio will be operated ... More
26 Jun 2019
Plans to redevelop Nottingham Forest's City Ground have moved a step closer after the Football League club was granted a new 250-year lease for the ... More
25 Jun 2019
The UK's National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) has launched a new three-year, £100m (US$127.6m, €112m) grant scheme aimed at "ambitious, innovative and transformational" projects in ... More
25 Jun 2019
Creating opportunities for older people to get physically active represents a major driver for growth in public leisure, according to new research. A study by ... More
25 Jun 2019
The number of drownings in the UK's inland waters has risen in the last year. A survey carried out by The Royal Life Saving Society ... More
Alliance Leisure
Alliance Leisure
25 Jun 2019
Research by YouGov has shown 68 per cent of UK adults to be unaware of the fact that children should take part in 60 minutes ... More
24 Jun 2019
The Bannatyne Group has completed a £750,000 redevelopment of its latest acquisition, the historic Cookridge Hall in West Yorkshire. The operator acquired the building, which ... More
24 Jun 2019
The first stage in the preparation of a planning application for the proposed Eden Project North in the UK has been completed, with the submission ... More
24 Jun 2019
Conceptual designs have been revealed for Birmingham's Alexander Stadium, which are set to transform the athletics stadium into the main stadium of the 2022 Commonwealth ... More
24 Jun 2019
An initiative aiming to inspire primary school children and their families to try new activities together in the run up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic ... More
21 Jun 2019
There was business as well as wellness on the agenda as the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) held its second annual membership meeting at Canyon Ranch ... More
Focus Training
Focus Training
21 Jun 2019
Corporate fitness sales specialist Gympass has secured additional financial backing believed to be around US$300m (€265m, £237m). Led by Japan-based SoftBank Vision Fund and its ... More
21 Jun 2019
Ukactive has set out on a membership consultation, asking for views on how the not-for-profit health body can better support members' strategic goals. A membership ... More
20 Jun 2019
Tennis fans visiting this year's Wimbledon championships will be offered an opportunity to practise on Centre Court alongside Andy Murray – in virtual reality. The ... More
1 - 15 of 38,794
STA-Swimming Teachers Association
STA-Swimming Teachers Association