Background: Depression is one of the major health problems faced by the elderly today. The prevalence of this disorder has increased significantly and currently affects approximately 12%-25% of the elderly population. Depression is characterized by a core group of signs and symptoms, including despondent mood, social withdrawal, and loss of interest in usual activities, weight loss or gain, disturbance in sleeping pattern, low energy, and a state of hopelessness.
Methodology: The current study addressed the relationship between self-reported physical activity and symptoms of depression in 500 men and women aged 35-year old, who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for a major depressive episode. The sample included individuals, either married, divorced, single, or widow.
Results: Out of 500 participants, 60% were males and 40% were females. Regarding social status, the high percentage was divorced participants (n = 160, 32%), followed by married (n = 150, 30%). Among the participants, 26% were single, and a little number of participants were widows (n = 60, 12%). Analysis of the unadjusted regression showed a significant relationship between self-reported physical activity and depression (p = 0.04). Also, self-reported physical activity remained a statistically significant predictor of depression after age and gender adjustment.
Conclusion: Our findings underlined the importance of increasing activity levels among the least active young people. Participation in sports provides an additional benefit over activity alone. Physical activity and sports participation in children, adolescents, and adults, based on mental as well as physical health, are recommended.
Key words: Association, physical activity, symptoms, depression