The Effect of Walking Behaviours on Self-reported Depression: A Secondary Data Analysis of the Scottish Health Survey (2015-2018)

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Background: Depression is a major public health problem among older people. The increases of depression among this population could be influenced by several factors and it is often considered a functional disorder associated with a reduction in the individual’s quality of life. Researches showed that physical activity is a promising treatment for depression. Walking is a form of physical activity is easily available, secure and inexpensive therapy for older people. The research question was: Is walking behaviour associated with reduced self-reported depressive feelings among older adults from the Scottish Health Survey? Methods: Cross-sectional secondary data analysis of the Scottish Health Survey collected by face-to-face interviews with the participants from 2015 to 2018. Data were accessed from The UK Data Service. Participants ware all adults age 65+ present in the dataset (n = 5238). Results: The current study demonstrated that there were no statistically significant differences between the effect of walking duration, frequency and intensity on reducing self-reported depression among older adults. Conclusions: This is the first study to investigate how components of walking and general health impact depressive symptoms in older Scottish adults. More research is needed to investigate the association between walking behaviour, general health factors, and depressive feelings among older adults.