Playing sports might protect boys from depression.

A study from the journal Biological Psychiatry examined how exercise might impact the development of depression in children. It analyzed over 4,000 kids ages 9 to 11 and saw that sports participation was linked to fewer depression symptoms specifically in boys.

Researchers found the impact to be most prominent when the boys participated in team sports or sports with structure, as opposed to less organized sports. They say that exercise, social interaction, and consistency in routine all provide unique benefits.

This study suggests that playing sports—especially team sports or organized sports—has a positive effect on young boys’ mental health.


Hudziak, J., Barch, D. M.  (2019, February 4). Involvement in Sports, Hippocampal Volume, and Depressive Symptoms in Children. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Retrieved from