Age differences in the effect of physical activity on depressive symptoms

Psychol Aging. 2004 Jun;19(2):346-51. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.19.2.346.


This study examined associations between physical activity and depressive symptoms in 1,151 community-dwelling adults in Japan. Physical activity was measured using a pedometer, whereas depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale. A structural equation modeling with a cross-lagged panel design revealed that for the older adults (65-79 years of age), daily walking at baseline predicted fewer depressive symptoms at the 2-year follow-up, even after adjusting for confounders. In contrast, the association was not confirmed for the middle-aged adults (40-64 years of age). Findings suggest that age should be considered when estimating the effect of physical activity on psychological well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires