Associations have been documented between physical activity and depression, but the direction of this association is unclear. The objective of the study is to examine whether depressive symptoms are concurrent with physical activity and to examine the direction of the relationship from 23 to 50 years of age.

Participants included members of the 1958 British Birth Cohort, a general population sample of all persons born in England, Scotland, and Wales in a single week in March 1958 who were followed up to 50 years of age (2008). We included approximately 11,000 cohort members with information on depressive symptoms or frequency of physical activity at 23, 33, 42, or 50 years of age.

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