Sitting Is Bad for Your Brain

17 April, 2018, 18:49 | Author: Sherman Richardson
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Sitting for too long may increase the risk of dementia in middle-aged adults, according to scientists, including one of Indian origin.

Live Science reports that prolonged sedentary life may eventually lead to medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTL), which is part of the brain responsible for memory.

So researchers at UCLA wanted to see how sedentary behavior influences brain health, especially regions of the brain that are critical to memory formation.

For the study, 35 adults (i.e. 25 women and 10 men) who were middle-aged or older were recruited. Researchers also discovered that even physical activity at high levels was insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for long hours.

United States researchers have published preliminary studies that show that sitting down for too long can reduce the thickness of the medial temporal lobe, a brain structure that is very involved in memory.

The team then used a high-resolution MRI scan to scan participants' brains for more detailed information about the media temporal lobe.

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This study, like many of its companions, showed that length of time spent sitting at once is an important predictor in itself - regardless of general physical activity. With every hour of sitting every day, there was an observed reduction in brain density, inning accordance with the research study. The scientists also enquired about the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the previous week.

Dr. Doug Brown, chief policy and research officer at Alzheimer's Society, added a statement that brain injuries were a "much smaller" contributory factor than smoking or a sedentary lifestyle - "risk factors that are much easier for all of us to do something about".

"Sit less, move more" is what the American Heart Association encourages all of us to do. Previously, studies have linked the thinning of brain structures with cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

In addition, thefindings are preliminary, and although the studyfocused on hours spent sitting, it did not take into consideration whether participants took breaks during long stretches of sedentary behavior.

In the future, researchers are aiming to find out whether sitting actually causes brain thinning and what role gender, race and weight might play in brain health in relation to sitting.

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