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Sitting Is Bad for Your Brain
17 April 2018, 06:52 | Silvia Roy
Do you have a sedentary lifestyle
Sitting really isn't good for you and the more we find out about it, the worse it seems.With the recent standing desk trend, that's pretty much common knowledge, but a new study suggests that sitting too much could even impact your memory - going well beyond numerous cardiovascular effects we suspected, and directly affecting important parts of the brain.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a team of researchers from the Center for Cognitive Neurosciences at UCLA's Semel Institute interviewed 35 people aged 45 to 75, all of whom were in good cognitive health.
Previous research has shown a link between too much sitting with an increased risk of heart disease, premature death, and diabetes in middle-age and older adults. After the researchers made adjustments to take the participants' ages into account, it was discovered that each additional hour spent sitting resulted in a 2 percent decrease in medial temporal lobe thickness. Then, researchers scanned the brain of each of the participant with MRI scanner, which provided a detailed look at the medial temporal lobe. The researchers noted that sedentary behaviour is a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL and that physical activity, even at normal states, is inadequate to ward off the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods. Regardless of the level of physical activity, long-term sitting is closely related to the thinning of the media temporal lobe. They used the scans to identify the relationships among the thickness of the MTL, physical activity and sitting behavior.
The subjects reported different average sitting times, with some averaging as low as three hours a day, and others averaging as much as 15 hours. With every hour of sitting daily, there was an obvious drop in brain thickness. Thinning in this region precedes cognitive decline and dementia. Reducing sedentary behaviour may be a possible target for interventions created to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease, researchers said.
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Health experts have earlier suggested people with long hours of office job, should take breaks in between.
Going forward, the researchers said they plan to survey people that sit for longer periods of time each day, in order to determine if sitting causes the observed thinning.
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