Sitting for too long increases risk of dementia
Sitting for long periods of time may increase the risk of dementia in middle-aged adults. This is according to a new study by scientists in the United States.
The study looked at 35 people between the ages of 45 and 75 years. They were asked questions about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours per day they spent sitting.
Each person was then put though a high-resolution MRI scan, which looked at the medial temporal lobe (MTL). This is the brain region that is involved in the formation of new memories.
Researchers found that sedentary behavior is a major factor for thinning of the MTL. Even physical activity of high intensity does not offset the harmful effects of sitting for long periods.
MTL thinning can be an indicator of cognitive decline and dementia in middle-aged and older adults.
Reducing sedentary behavior would help improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. More hours spent sitting are associated with thinner regions.