Not just heart, prolonged sitting bad for brain too

Representational Image

Representational Image

Thinning of this region is associated with memory decline or cognitive decline and dementia among the elderly.

The study didn't look at breaks in sedentary behavior, however.

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.

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The researchers found that sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the medial temporal lobe and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods.

Sitting too much is linked to changes in a section of the brain that is critical for memory, according to a preliminary study by UCLA researchers of middle-aged and older adults. Scientist asked the individuals about their exercise levels and the typical variety of hours each day they 'd invested sitting over the previous week. The brains of the subjects were scanned via high-resolution MRI to assess the thickness of their medial temporal lobes - the part of the brain crucial to the creation and storage of memories.

The researchers noted that as the hours of sitting or being sedentary rose, there was a significant thinning in the medial temporal lobe of the brain.

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The scientists kept in mind that the research study didn't show that sitting caused thinner brain structures, however rather discovered an association in between sitting for extended periods of time and thinning structures. Also, it does not prove that too much sitting causes thinner brain structures, but instead that more hours spent sitting has a connection with thinner brain regions.

Although the researchers did not directly associate long hours of sitting with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, they believe that reduction of sedentary behavior should be recommended as an intervention tool for people who are considered at risk of developing Alzheimer's, according to Live Science.

Most of us are aware that spending long periods in a seated position can increase the risk of metabolic issues, heart problems, and early death.

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The next stage of the research will be to follow volunteers for longer than a week to see if the results are consistent and if gender, race or weight comes into play.

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