Sitting Too Much? Your Brain Structures Could Get Thinner, Increasing Dementia Risk

Representational Image

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

According to a study just published by researchers at UCLA, sitting for prolonged periods of time (like in an office, in front of a computer) may increase the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.

According to scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, sedentary behaviour could influence brain health.

For the study, 35 adults (i.e. 25 women and 10 men) who were middle-aged or older were recruited.

Researchers found that sedentary behavior is linked to the thinning of the medial temporal lobe, regardless of a person's levels of physical activity.

Long periods of sitting could be bad for your brain and its ability to create new memories, a new study from UCLA found. The participants were asked to answer about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours each day they have spent sitting throughout the previous week.


All the participants had a brain scan that specifically looked at the area of the brain called the medial temporal lobe. 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.

They add that this was a small study and more detailed and larger studies are necessary to come to conclusions regarding extended periods of sitting and brain health.

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.

And although the study found no significant correlations between physical activity levels and thickness of the medial temporal lobe, the researchers said in the statement that "reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target for interventions created to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease".

Not only can sitting lead to diabetes and heart disease, leading a sedentary life is rough on the brain as well.

In addition, thefindings are initial, and although the studyfocused on hours invested sitting, it did not take into account whether individuals took breaks throughout long stretches of inactive habits. They would also like to explore the role gender, weight and race play in the effect on brain health to sitting, according to the statement.

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