Physical activity correlates among 24,230 people with depression across 46 low- and middle-income countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Davy Vancampfort
  • Brendon Stubbs
  • Mats Hallgren
  • Felipe Schuch
  • Jouni Lahti
  • Simon Rosenbaum
  • Philip B Ward
  • James Mugisha
  • André F Carvalho
  • Ai Koyanagi


BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of nationally representative data available on the correlates of physical activity (PA) among people with depression, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Thus, we investigated PA correlates among community-dwelling adults with depression in this setting.

METHODS: World Health Survey data included 24,230 adults (43.1 ± 16.1 years; 36.1% male) with ICD-10 diagnoses of depression including brief depressive episode and subsyndromal depression aged ≥ 18 years from 46 LMICs. PA was assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Participants were dichotomised into low and moderate-to-high physically active groups. Associations between PA and a range of sociodemographic, health behaviour and mental and physical health variables were examined using multivariable logistic regressions.

RESULTS: 34.8% of participants with depression were physically inactive. In the multivariate analyses, inactivity was associated with male sex, older age, not being married/cohabiting, high socio-economic status, unemployment, living in an urban setting, less vegetable consumption, and poor sleep/ low energy. In addition, mobility difficulties and some somatic co-morbidity were associated with not complying with the 150min per week moderate-to-vigorous PA recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS: The current data provide guidance for future population level interventions across LMICs to help people with depression engage in regular PA.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date13 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2017