e number of people suffering from depression has been increasing exponentially. However, there are people who are at a higher risk of depression and working on the risks can help to cut the risks. Your daily activities have an impact on your mental health and therefore, keeping a check on them can also be beneficial. A recent study found that people who follow a range of healthy habits are significantly less likely to experience episodes of depression.
For the study, researchers studied data from nearly 300,000 people in the UK Biobank database initiative. They identified seven healthy habits and found that people who maintained most of them — five or more— cut their risk of depression by 57%.
“I think the biggest surprise is that if you have a favourable lifestyle, you can reduce the risk of your getting depression by 57%, which is really quite a massive amount,” says study author Barbara Sahakian, a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge.
Researchers used Mendelian randomization, using genetics to study behaviour to confirm a causal link between lifestyle and depression. They found a reduction in the risk of depression held up even among people who have genetic variants that make them more susceptible. Depression is more than just chemical imbalance and your behaviour and lifestyle too have a role to play in your mental health.