Is reading for pleasure in childhood good for your health?

Although an association between reading for pleasure and healthy behaviours was identified, causation is still unclear.

Francesca Bentivegna summarises a recent study of the benefits of reading for pleasure in childhood, which finds an association 3 years later with consuming more fruit and being less exposed to both cigarette and alcohol use.

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School based obesity prevention for 6 and 7 year olds

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Alison Tonkin writes her debut elf blog on the WAVES study: a cluster randomised controlled trial looking at the effectiveness of a childhood obesity prevention programme delivered through schools, targeting 6 and 7 year olds.

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Psychosis and physical health: listening to patients and family carers

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Shuichi Suetani and Sharon Lawn explore a recent viewpoint article on physical health problems in psychosis, which asks: Is it time to consider the views of family carers?

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Physical activity participation in severe mental illness: one step closer? #ClosingTheGapSMI

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Suzan Hassan writes her debut elf blog on a recent research paper that highlights the factors associated with regular physical activity participation among people with severe mental illness.

Today sees the launch of the new Closing The Gap Network in York. Follow #ClosingTheGapSMI on Twitter for live updates throughout the day.

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Treating depression with physical activity in young people

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Simon Brett summarises a robust systematic review that looks at the effectiveness of physical activity as a treatment for depression in adolescents and young adults.

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Exercise may help prevent depression for all ages, genders & nationalities

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Donncha Mullin summarises a recent meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, which establishes a strong link between exercise and depression.

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Pets are mostly good for our mental health

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Kirsten Lawson considers the findings of a recent narrative review and synthesis, which looks at the power of support from pets and companion animals for people living with mental health problems.

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Physical activity and depression: new review confirms high levels of sedentary behaviour

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Tayla McCloud summarises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, which found that more than two-thirds of people with depression did not comply with the recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

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Depression in later life: who benefits most from antidepressants plus exercise?

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Linda Gask explores an RCT of physical exercise for depression in later life, which considers the best way to customise the intervention for primary care.

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