Teens who are Bullied May Benefit from Exercise

By Edith Castro Roldán, Oscar Manuel Luna Nieto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via W

There is a new study that shows regularly participating in exercise might help bullied teenagers reduce their risk of suicide. Researchers analyzed information from more than 13,500 high school students from all across the United States. It was discovered that bullied teens who engaged in physical activity three or more days a week had a reduced incident of suicidal thoughts and attempts by 23 percent.

Information from the Study

Researchers also noted that about 30 percent of teenagers who are bullied said they felt sad for 14 days or more during the previous year. Additionally, 22 percent thought about suicide and more than 8 percent had attempted it in the previous year. About 20 percent of the students in the study said they had been bullied while attending school.

Students who experience bullying are more likely to report feelings of sadness and three times more likely to think about killing themselves. Researchers state that teens who are bullied, but engage in physical activity three or more times per week had a large reduction in sadness.

The Study Results

The study results were recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Study author Jeremy Sibold stated in a University of Vermont news release, “I was surprised that it was that significant and that the positive effects of exercise extended to kids actually trying to harm themselves.”

While this new study found a direct link between physical activity and the risk of suicide, it didn’t definitively prove a cause and effect link.
Sibold further added, “Even if one kid is protected because we got them involved in an after-school activity or in a physical education program, it’s worth it.”

Sadly, many public and private schools in the United States have cut out physical activity, but the results of this study give reason to reconsider the importance of P.E. classes.

Sibold further stated, “It’s scary and frustrating that exercise isn’t more ubiquitous and that we don’t encourage it more in schools. Instead, kids are put on medication and told “good luck.” If exercise reduces sadness, suicide ideation and suicide attempts, then why in the world are we cutting physical education programs and making it harder for students to make athletic teams at such a critical age?”

Bullying Statistics

There is a strongly established link between bullying and suicide. In recent times, a series of bullying-related suicides have been brought to the forefront of the world’s attention. Though many adults view bullying as just something kids go through, it is a very serious issue that can lead to many negative effects for the victims. Many people don’t realize there is a link between bullying and young children committing suicide.

In order to prevent young people from committing suicide due to bullying, it’s very important for more research to be done on the matter and for everyone, everywhere to take it seriously.


The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979