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Study sees possible link between sit-down jobs, depression

Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can affect anyone in any profession, from taxi drivers to electricians to CEOs. If the condition is severe enough, it can make it impossible to keep working, at least for a while.

Despite mental illness being a reality for people from all walks of life, it appears that some jobs put workers at risk of depression and anxiety than others. Specifically, researchers claim that jobs that involve a lot of sitting put people at higher risk of these conditions.

According to an article in PsychCentral, the study is based on an examination of a survey of 3,367 people, all of whom worked for the government of their country. The questionnaire asked the subjects to describe whether they suffered any symptoms of anxiety or depression over four weeks. The subjects also kept track of their physical activity, their leisure time and their satisfaction with their workplaces.

The results suggested a connection between long periods of sitting down and the mental illnesses being studied. Those who sat longer than six hours a day were more likely to report moderate symptoms compared with those who sat for fewer than three hours daily at work.

Working out before or after work did not seem to make up for this risk. Also, women were more likely to have symptoms, though they sat for an hour less per day, on average, than men.

The Social Security Administration recognizes illnesses like depression as a disability. That means that patients may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, while they try to get their condition under control.


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