Sex differences in type of exercise associated with depression in South Korean adults

Hyunkyu Kim, Wonjeong Jeong, Junhyun Kwon, Youseok Kim, Sung In Jang, Eun Cheol Park

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Exercise has been considered as treatment and a preventive modality to alleviate depressive symptoms, but sex differences regarding specific types of exercise in association with depression have not been clearly elucidated. Here, we investigated sex differences in the association between exercise type and depression in Korean adults. Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) were used for this study. A total of 13,914 participants who had filled in a Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) were included. The subjects’ exercise status had been evaluated with questions on strength exercise and walking, and answers were analysed in the current study using multivariate logistic regression. Male participants who reported having done strength exercise more than once in a week were less likely to be depressed after adjusting for covariates assumed to affect depression levels [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.60, 95% CI 0.40–0.92]. In women, walking more than once during the previous week was associated with lower depression levels after covariate adjustments (adjusted OR 0.54, CI 0.34–0.87). This study identifies the relationship between exercise and the presence of depressive symptoms and finds sex differences in the types of exercise that correlate with depression in Korean adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18271
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

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© 2020, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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