East of England study to test whether exercise could be used as treatment for depression in teenagers

A study into whether exercise can be used to treat mild to moderate depression has been launched by the University of Hertfordshire.

Researchers are hoping to find out whether encouraging teenagers to exercise as a group could combat the illness.

The University of Hertfordshire are working alongside the UEA, University of Bedfordshire and mental health trusts in Norfolk, Suffolk and Hertfordshire on the project.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) said they are hoping the result in alternative methods of support for young people.

Dr Tim Clarke, from the Children, Family and Young People's Mental Health Service at NSFT, 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."

The study will see young people aged 13-17 with depression carry out high and low intensity activities, with researchers comparing the results.

The East of England will be the first place taking part in the study, before it is expanded to involve 1,000 teenagers in 2021.