Healthy Body Health Mind

Healthy Body Health Mind
NEWS / 15 October 2020

Findings include:

- That only 8pc surveyed achieved the daily recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise and that 4 in every 10 self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety.

- 2 in every 5 females and 1 in 5 males reported elevated symptoms of anxiety and almost 50pc of females and 30pc of males reported elevated symptoms of depression

- 80pc of adolescents reported playing one sport and 66pc took part in team sports. Those who engaged in sports were found to have higher levels of wellbeing and lower symptoms of anxiety and depression with team sports conferring an additional benefit

The findings emphasise the importance of increasing physical activity levels among adolescents who are least active.

There is also a need to develop physical activity recommendations for mental as well as physical health, with a particular focus on the most appropriate context and not simply frequency, intensity, type or time.

Schools and community-based interventions need to promote regular physical activity and engagement in individual or team sports to enhance wellbeing and positive mental health in adolescents.

Dr Bronagh McGrane said,

“While there are physical activity guidelines for physical health, the high levels of depression and anxiety symptoms in this study emphasises the need for physical activity guidelines for mental health. It also highlights the need for greater investment and resourcing to support adolescents in participating in sport and physical activity to improve both their physical and mental health.”

For more information from the PAWS research, please visit

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