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“Lifting More” is Associated with Lower Risks of Depression in University Students

Kang Ai1, Kimberley Curtin2, Kaja Kastelic3,4, Cain Clark5, Si-Tong Chen6, Xinli Chi7,*

1New Silk Road Fashion & Sports College, Haikou University of Economics, Haikou, China
2 Policy, Location and Access in Community Environments (PLACE) Research Laboratory School of Public Health, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
3 University of Primorska, Andrej Marušič Institute, Koper, Slovenia
4 InnoRenew CoE, Izola, Slovenia
5 Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
6 Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
7 School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China

* Corresponding Author: Xinli Chi. Email: email

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2021, 23(4), 471-485.


Research on the population in western world showed that, MSE (muscle-strengthening exercise) is beneficial to the treatment of mental disorders. However, the situation in Chinese adults is little known. For this reason, the study is performed to understand the connection between depression and MSE among college and university students in China aged between 18 to 24.1793 college students have been recruited, and their average age is 20.67. A questionnaire has been developed and it is self-reported and designed to collect information about MSE and participants, including body mass index and sex and so on. Sleep and physical activity have been evaluated by introducing two scales, that is, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, respectively. Moreover, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 has been adopted to indicate the severity of depression of participants. The link between depression and MSE has been studied by introducing multilevel linear regression. Among all these study participants, just 24.87% of them met the MSE standards of World Health Organization, that is, more than 2 days every week. The average depression score was 6.80 (±5.19). Greater number of days for MSE shows negative association with the depression, with beta = −0.17, 95% CI: −0.31 to −0.03, p = 0.015). Those students failing to meet MSE standards are more susceptible to the depression risk (beta = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.09–0.19, p = 0.027). The results show that, there is a relationship between MSE participation and relieved status of depression among young adults in China. Interventions designed to relieve depression can be developed on the basis of MSE.


Cite This Article

Ai, K., Curtin, K., Kastelic, K., Clark, C., Chen, S. et al. (2021). “Lifting More” is Associated with Lower Risks of Depression in University Students. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 23(4), 471–485.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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