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Effects of a Sedentary Behavior–Inducing Randomized Controlled Intervention on Depression and Mood Profile in Active Young Adults

  • Meghan K. Edwards
    Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, Center for Health Behavior Research, The University of Mississippi, University
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  • Paul D. Loprinzi
    Correspondence: Address to Paul D. Loprinzi, PhD, Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, Center for Health Behavior Research, The University of Mississippi, 229 Turner Center, University, MS 38677.
    Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, Center for Health Behavior Research, The University of Mississippi, University
    Search for articles by this author



      To examine the effects of a free-living, sedentary behavior–inducing randomized controlled intervention on depression and mood profile.

      Patients and Methods

      Participants who were confirmed to be active via self-report and accelerometry were randomly assigned to either a sedentary behavior intervention group (n=26) or a control group (n=13) by using a 2:1 sample size ratio for intervention and control groups. The intervention group was asked to eliminate all exercise and minimize steps to 5000 or less steps/d for 1 week, whereas the control group was asked to continue normal physical activity levels for 1 week. Both groups completed a depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9) and mood (Profile of Moods States) survey preintervention and immediately postintervention. The intervention group was asked to resume normal physical activity levels for 1 week postintervention and then completed the assessments for a third time. All data collection occurred between September 1, 2015, and December 1, 2015.


      Patient Health Questionnaire-9 group × time interaction analysis revealed that depression scores significantly increased from visit 1 to visit 2 (F=11.85; P=.001). Paired t tests comparing depression scores from visit 2 to visit 3 exhibited a significant decrease from visit 2 to visit 3 (P<.001). Profile of Moods States group × time interaction analysis paralleled depression results; mood scores significantly increased from visit 1 to visit 2 (F=10.03; P=.003) and significantly decreased from visit 2 to visit 3 (P<.001).


      A 1-week sedentary behavior–inducing intervention has deleterious effects on depression and mood. To prevent mental health decline in active individuals, consistent regular physical activity may be necessary.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      ANOVA (analysis of variance), IPAQ-SF (International Physical Activity Questionnaire–Short Form), MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity), PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), POMS (Profile of Moods States)
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