UCLA: Sitting too much linked to higher risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Sitting too much linked to higher risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Sitting too much could raise the risk of memory related chronic ailments like Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a freshly published by researchers at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). For majority of people in office jobs, long sitting hours has become a norm. As jobs have shifted from manual work to office work, the workforce sitting in front of computer is at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and higher blood pressure. The current study was led by Prabha Siddarth of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

The study was conducted on individuals in age ground 45 to 75 years. Research team asked study subjects about their normal sitting hours during a day. Researchers conducted high-resolution MRI of study subjects to check the thickness of their media temporal lobes. This part of brain plays an important role in creation and storage of memory.

The study team noticed thinner medial temporal lobes among individuals who were sitting for long hours compared to those who were having more active job and lifestyle. Researchers added that thin medial temporal lobes could be considered as a precursor to cognitive decline. It could even lead to dementia in middle-aged and older adults.

The study team added that even higher amount of physical activity wasn’t enough to offset the harmful impact of sitting for long hours. Detailed study results have been published in the latest issue of PLOS ONE

Health experts have earlier suggested people with long hours of office job, should take breaks in between. Instead of sitting on desk for long period, moving around with small breaks is considered beneficial in reducing the risks associated with sitting jobs.

The research team added that they will study the impact further. Future research project will aim to check the role gender, race, and weight might play in the negative effects of long periods of sitting each day.

The research paper further informed…

UCLA researchers recruited 35 people ages 45 to 75 and asked about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the previous week. Each person had a high-resolution MRI scan, which provides a detailed look at the medial temporal lobe, or MTL, a brain region involved in the formation of new memories.

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

This study does not prove that too much sitting causes thinner brain structures, but instead that more hours spent sitting are associated with thinner regions, researchers said. In addition, the researchers focused on the hours spent sitting, but did not ask participants if they took breaks during this time.

The researchers next hope to follow a group of people for a longer duration to determine if sitting causes the thinning and what role gender, race, and weight might play in brain health related to sitting.

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.