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Long hours of sitting increases risk of dementia, Alzheimer's: Study

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, April 21, 2018  /  06:04 pm
Long hours of sitting increases risk of dementia, Alzheimer's: Study

Sitting too long in front of a computer screen can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (Shutterstock/Lightspring)

It is common knowledge that staring at a computer screen for extended periods is not good for your health. Through various studies, scientists have found that sitting for long periods can cause health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels and heart disease.

A study has revealed that people sitting in front of television for more than four hours have a 50 percent increased risk of premature death.

Moreover, the University California Los Angeles (UCLA) has revealed in a study that sitting too long in front of a computer screen can increase risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This news isn’t good for those who value their minds and memory—having dementia or Alzheimer's disease could be a scary prospect. 

Led by Prabha Siddarth of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, the study involves taking a survey of a group of test subjects between 45 and 75 years old. The question given to the subjects was the number of hours they spent the previous week sitting down each day. After the survey was conducted, their brains were scanned via a high-resolution MRI to assess the thickness of their Medial Temporal Lobes (MTL), which are crucial to the creation and storage of memories.

The researchers found a correlation between the number of hours sitting down and the thickness of the MTL: the longer hours a person sits down, the thinner their MTL are.

In a statement released by UCLA, that can be a precursor to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-aged and older adults.

Read also: Dementia clearly linked to chronic boozing: Study

One of the most shocking results is that according to the researchers, physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods. This could mean that regular exercise may not do much to reduce the brain damage that comes from excessive sitting.

This finding has prompted researchers to investigate further, looking into how role, gender, race and weight might factor into this finding. (ely/mut)