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Substitutions of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep: associations with mental health in middle-aged and elderly persons
  1. Amy Hofman1,
  2. Trudy Voortman1,
  3. M. Arfan Ikram1,
  4. Annemarie I Luik1,2
  1. 1 Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Annemarie I Luik, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands; a.luik{at}erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

Background Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep are potential risk factors of mental health disorders, but previous studies have not considered the dependency between these activity domains. Therefore, we examined the associations of reallocations of time among older adults’ physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep with depressive and anxiety symptoms using compositional isotemporal substitution analyses.

Methods We included 1943 participants (mean age 71 years, SD: 9; 52% women) from the population-based Rotterdam Study. Between 2011 and 2016, we collected accelerometer data (mean duration 5.8 days, SD: 0.4) on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep and self-reported data on depressive symptoms and anxiety.

Results A reallocation of 30 min more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with a −0.55 (95% CI −1.04 to −0.06) points lower depressive symptoms score when replacing sleep and a −0.59 (95% CI −1.06 to −0.12) points lower score when replacing sedentary behaviour, but not when replacing light physical activity (−0.70, 95% CI −1.63 to 0.24). No associations were found for anxiety.

Conclusion Replacing sedentary behaviour or sleep with more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with less depressive symptoms, suggesting that mainly intensive types of physical activity are important for middle-aged and older adults in relation to depressive symptoms.

  • exercise
  • sleep
  • depression
  • mental health
  • Anxiety

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Requests should be directed towards the management team of the Rotterdam Study (secretariat.epi@erasmusmc.nl), which has a protocol for approving data requests. Because of restrictions based on privacy regulations and informed consent of the participants, data cannot be made freely available in a public repository.

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This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Requests should be directed towards the management team of the Rotterdam Study (secretariat.epi@erasmusmc.nl), which has a protocol for approving data requests. Because of restrictions based on privacy regulations and informed consent of the participants, data cannot be made freely available in a public repository.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors made substantial intellectual contributions to warrant coauthorship. More detailed, AH, TV and AIL designed the analysis plan, conducted the analyses and drafted the manuscript. MAI critically reviewed the analyses and manuscript. All authors approve the final version.

  • Funding The Rotterdam Study is funded by Erasmus Medical Centre and Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands Organisation for the Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the Research Institute for Diseases in the Elderly (RIDE), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports, the European Commission (DG XII) and the Municipality of Rotterdam.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.