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Bid to help find out if exercise could help teens with depression

PUBLISHED: 07:05 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:05 22 January 2020

Researchers at the UEA are taking part in study to test whether group exercise could help teenagers with depression. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Researchers at the UEA are taking part in study to test whether group exercise could help teenagers with depression. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Scientists from Norwich are taking part in a project to find out whether exercise could help treat depression in young people.

It has long been established that exercise can help with depression.

But now researchers from the University of East Anglia want to find whether encouraging teenagers to exercise as part of a group could help treat mild to moderate depression in young people.

The study will compare the benefits of high and low intensity group exercise for young people living with depression, with spending time with a group of their peers.

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Teenagers in the East of England will be the first to take part in the READY Trial (Randomised trial of Energetic Activity for Depression in Young people) - before it is rolled out to involve 1,000 young people nationwide.

The multi-disciplinary trial will include health, psychology, and exercise researchers and has received £2.37m in funding from the National Institute for Health Research.

It will be led by the University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with UEA's Clinical Trials Unit, the University of Bedfordshire, Mental Health Trusts in Hertfordshire and Norfolk and Suffolk and local community sports provider organisations.

Prof Andy Jones, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "We are very pleased to be part of this important study, which will explore whether taking part in group exercise could help as an intervention for young people with depression."

Dr Daksha Trivedi, from the University of Hertfordshire, who is co-lead researcher on the project said: "We will be working closely with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and GPs to sensitively work with families and health providers to research and potentially find effective use of behavioural medicine and exercise to treat depression."

Dr Tim Clarke, from the Children, Family and Young People's Mental Health Service at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, said: "This is a great opportunity to explore an intervention that expands traditional offers of support for young people with low mood and could potentially improve provision and increase access to evidence based interventions.

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