Scientists have discovered that sedentary behavior may make people vulnerable to certain diseases. In a study published in journal PLOS One, researchers found that sitting for long hours may increases risk of dementia in middle-aged adults.
The researchers at University of California, Los Angeles recruited some volunteers (aged between 45 and 75 years) and questioned them about their physical activity levels. The scientists also enquired about the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the previous week.
Scientists did high-resolution MRI scans on each volunteer to check the deviation in MTL area. Medial temporal lobe (MTL) is a brain region which controls memories. Thinning in this region precedes cognitive decline and dementia.
The Study found that sedentary behaviour was a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL. Researchers also discovered that even physical activity at high levels was insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for long hours.
“MTL thinning can be a precursor to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-aged and older adults. Reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target for interventions designed to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” the scientists said.