Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2574-4437 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2017, 2(1), 1-6
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-2-1-1
Open AccessArticle

The Association between Work-Related Physical Activity and Depression

Nestor Asiamah1, and Henry Kofi Mensah2

1Research, Africa Center for Epidemiology, Accra, Ghana

2Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Pub. Date: December 23, 2016

Cite this paper:
Nestor Asiamah and Henry Kofi Mensah. The Association between Work-Related Physical Activity and Depression. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2017; 2(1):1-6. doi: 10.12691/jpar-2-1-1


Working long hours is often said to be associated with depression. Research has also shown that physical activity is a remedy for depression. If this is the case, work involving an adequate level of physical activity may reduce depression. This study therefore examines the association between work-related physical activity and depression. A cross-sectional quantitative research design was applied. Three groups of workers having varied physical activity levels were compared. Each group had 218 volunteer participants. Analysis of Variance and a linear contrasts test were used to present results. Data analysis shows that sedentary jobs have the highest level of depression (Mean = 26.03, SD = 10.24, 95%CI = 25.26-27.80). Partially sedentary jobs produce a depression level higher than SEDJOB but lower than PHYJOB (Mean = 15.867, SD = 7.49, 95%CI = 14.9, 16.9). Physical jobs produce the lowest level of depression (Mean = 11.119, SD = 6.26, 95%CI = 10.3, 12.0). The study thus finds a statistically significant negative association between work-related physical activity and depression at 1% significance level. Thus, depression decreases with increased work-related physical activity. It may therefore be necessary for organizations to implement systems that encourage workers to regularly engage in work-related physical activity. They may have to create recreation centers (e.g. Gyms) where workers can exercise after hours of work in sedentary conditions.

physical activity work-related physical activity sedentary behavior depression

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  World Health Organization (2014). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Accessed [15 October, 2016] from:
[2]  World Health Organization (2015). Physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016-2025. Accessed [15 October, 2016] from:
[3]  Babyak, M., Blumenthal, J.A., Herman, S., Khatri, P., Doraiswamy, M., Moore, K., Craighead, W.E., Baldewicz, T.T., Krishnan, K.R. (2000). Exercise Treatment for Major Depression: Maintenance of Therapeutic Benefit at 10 Months, Psychosomatic Medicine, 62:633-638.
[4]  Craft, L.L., Perna, F.M. (2004). The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed, Journal of Clinical Psychiatric, 6 (3): 104-113.
[5]  Baxter, H., Winder, R., Chalder, M., Wright, C., Sherlock, S., Haase, A., Wiles, N.J., Montgomery, A.A., Taylor, A.H., Fox, K.R., Lawlor, D.H., Peters, T.J., Sharp, D.J., Campbell, J., Lewis, G. (2010). Physical activity as a treatment for depression: the TREAD randomized trial protocol, Trials, 11 (105): 1-7.
[6]  Blake, H. (2012). Physical activity and exercise in the treatment of depression, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 3 (2): 1-4.
[7]  Dembe, A.E., Erickson, J.B., Delbos, R.G., Banks, S.M. (2005). The impact of overtime and long work hours on occupational injuries and illnesses: new evidence from the United States, Occupational Environment Medicine, 62: 588-597.
[8]  Martinsen, E.W. (2008). Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression, Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 62: 25-29.
[9]  Wang, Y.P., Andrade, L.H., Gorenstein, C. (2005). Validation of the Beck Depression Inventory for a Portuguese-speaking Chinese community in Brazil, Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 38: 399-408.
[10]  Grothe, K.B., Dutton, G.R., Jones, G.N., Bodenlos, J., Ancona, M., Brangtley, P.J. (2005). Validation of the Beck Depression Inventory—II in a Low-Income African American Sample of Medical Outpatients, Psychological Assessment, 17 (1): 110-114.
[11]  Byrne, B.M, Stewart, S.M., Lee, P.W.H. (2004). Validating the Beck Depression Inventory–II for Hong Kong Community Adolescents, International Journal of Testing, 4(3), 199-216.
[12]  Sawilowsky, S. (2005). Misconceptions leading to choosing the t test over the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney U test for shift in location parameter. Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, 4 (2): 598-600.
[13]  Akhtar-Danesh, N., Landeen, J. (2007). Relation between depression and sociodemographic factors, International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 1 (4): 1-9.
[14]  Schutte, S.N., Malouff, J.M., Hall, L.E., Haggerty, D.J., Cooper, J.T., Golden, C.J., Dornheim, L. (1998). Development and validation of a measure of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 25: 167-177.
[15]  Webster, L. (2015). The effectiveness of physical activity as an intervention in the treatment of depression: A systematic review, Journal of Applied Psychology and Social Sciences, 1 (1): 28-40.
[16]  Kim, H. (2014). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) comparing means of more than two groups, Open Lecture on Statistics, 39(1): 74-77.
[17]  Sow, M.T. (2014). Using ANOVA to Examine the Relationship between Safety & Security and Human Development, Journal of International Business and Economics, 2(4): 101-106.