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Low Physical Fitness in Women Linked to Anxiety, Depression

Low Physical Fitness in Women Linked to Anxiety, Depression

Saturday, 22 June, 2019 - 05:00
Depression. AFP Relax News

Mid-life women with weak upper and lower body fitness may be more prone to depression and anxiety, Reuters reported.

In particular, poor handgrip strength and needing a long time to stand from a chair were associated with higher depression or anxiety symptoms, study authors reported in the journal Menopause.

Senior study author Eu-Leong Yong of the National University of Singapore, said: "Mid-life women globally are in an incredibly difficult position: stuck between children, aging parents, and husband and work commitments."

"They sacrifice themselves in face of all these demands, and sometimes neglect their own needs. Anxiety and depression may go unrecognized," he told Reuters Health by email.

Yong and colleagues studied more than 1,100 women, ages 45-69, who had routine gynecology appointments at the National University Hospital in Singapore. During the appointments, the researchers measured upper body physical performance as well as the lower body physical performance.

The research team used international questionnaires to assess whether and how often women experienced symptoms associated with anxiety and depression during the past week, including sadness, uncontrollable worrying, loss of interest, fatigue, sleep problems and poor appetite.

Overall, 180 women, or about 16 percent, had depressive or anxiety symptoms. Women ages 45 to 54 were more likely to report symptoms.

Symptoms were not linked with menopause status, socio-demographic characteristics or lifestyle variables such as smoking or alcohol consumption.

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