Sitting at desk all day may damage brain, raise dementia risk

Reducing sedentary behaviour may be a possible target for interventions designed to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Research team asked study subjects about their normal sitting hours during a day.

The potentially negative effect of sitting on a person's memory adds to previous research that has associated sedentary behavior to a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and a greater chance of premature death, according to Live Science. The current study was led by Prabha Siddarth of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. The researchers speculate that the sedentary behavior may be increasing inflammation and hurting the ability of the brain to generate new blood vessels and cells. This part of brain plays an important role in creation and storage of memory.

The Study found that sedentary behaviour was a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL.

A thinner MTL is considered a predecessor for dementia along with other significant signs of cognitive decline in middle-aged to older people.

The specialists found that inactive conduct is a noteworthy indicator of diminishing of the MTL and that physical action, even at abnormal states, is inadequate to counterbalance the unsafe impacts of sitting for expanded periods. Rather than sitting on work area for long stretch, moving around with little breaks is viewed as valuable in decreasing the dangers related with sitting occupations.

In the study, published Thursday in the journal PLOS One, comprised of adults age 45 to 75, the participants each had a brain MRI and were asked questions about their levels of activity and the average number of hours they spent sitting in a week. The researchers then took a look at the brains of the participants through a high-resolution MRI scan.

A lot of us need to do a lot of sitting as part of our jobs, and it's not uncommon for today's people, in general, to sit down for long periods of time.

Excessive sitting is bad for your physical health - and your brain too, finds a new study.

Perhaps most shocking was that, according to the researchers, "physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods". What's more, the specialists concentrated on the hours spent sitting, however did not inquire as to whether they took breaks amid this time. They added, however, that more extensive research is still needed, as only a few subjects were involved in the study.

The study was supported by grants from various funders including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy and the McLoughlin Gift Fund for Cognitive Health.

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