Public webinar to explore connection between youth movement and mental health

Adolescence is a stressful time full of unique challenges and opportunities for youth and those that live and work with them. It’s known that movement behaviours, such as physical activity, sleep and screen time, relate to mental health, but how are they connected?

These topics will be discussed at the upcoming webinar “Movement and Mental Health — What’s happening with youth today,” held Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Hosted by Brock University’s Lifespan Development Research Institute’s community speaker series, the event will see research presented by Department of Health Sciences Post-doctoral Research Fellows Negin Riazi and Markus J. Duncan.

“There is continually growing evidence that, across the lifespan, being more physically active and getting sufficient sleep benefits not just the body but also the mind,” says Duncan. “However, the outbreak of COVID-19 caused numerous barriers to both achieving good mental health and being physically active.”

The research, overseen by Health Sciences Associate Professor Karen Patte, demonstrates that adolescents who managed to stay active and improve sleep habits despite these challenges, tended to have better overall mental health.

The free webinar will explore how specific movement behaviours, like keeping active or sleeping regularly, relate to mental health among adolescents. It will focus on what has happened during the pandemic regarding youth movement behaviours and mental health, and the connections between movement behaviours and mental health.

High-level recommendations for those who live and work with youth — as well as for youth themselves — will also be discussed.

“It’s important to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted youths’ movement behaviours so that we can tailor interventions and policies to support these behaviours,” Riazi says. “It is also vital to involve youth in these conversations and consult them regarding the issues that affect them.”

Held in partnership with support from Brock’s Office of Research Services, the “Movement and Mental Health – What’s happening with youth today” webinar is free to attend but advanced registration is required.

The event is part of the ongoing Lifespan Institute Speaker Series, which is designed to connect and engage the community with research that is going on at Brock University.

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