Although research on sitting has already shown an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases, new research out of UCLA has looked into the impact on sitting for long periods of time and the effects it has on brain health. Thirty-five participants aged 45 to 75 were interviewed on their average activity level and the number of hours they sit during a day. Participants then underwent an MRI to look at the medial temporal lobe, which is responsible for forming new memories. Researchers found that regardless of physical activity, sedentary behaviour was a predictor of the medial temporal lobe thinning. The medial temporal lobe thinning is a precursor to dementia in mid to later life. This means that if you work a desk job, but participate in an activity for an hour at the gym, for example, it is not enough to offset the negatives of sitting all day and can increase your risk of developing dementia. It should be noted that this study was small and does not prove sitting causes thinning but rather is associated with the amount of time spent sitting.
Source: EurekAltert! April 12, 2018; https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uoc--sib041118.php
Author: Leigh Hooper
Date Retrieved: April 20, 2018.