7 Lifestyle Factors Help Keep Depression at Bay | NAMI

7 Lifestyle Factors Help Keep Depression at Bay

Posted on September 13, 2023

Among those who reported at least five of the seven healthy habits, the risk of depression was 57% lower, versus people who adhered to no more than one. Healthy habits appeared powerful -- guarding people against depression regardless of their genetic risk. The study findings do not prove cause-and-effect, but they are "compelling," said Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI CMO. He noted that the genetics of depression are complex and have not been "nailed down," so the risk scores assigned in this study have limitations. But the bottom-line message is a positive one, Duckworth said: "You're not helpless vis-a-vis your genes." Although the findings point to the power of having many healthy habits, Duckworth said that people can focus on the "small wins" each day. "Going for a walk in the park is doable for most people, even if they feel like they don't have the energy or the motivation," he said. Plus, small steps can lead to other changes: If you're more active, you might sleep better. "These things all build on each other," Duckworth said.


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