On August 22, an article was published in the magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), where it was stipulated that a group of researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona conducted a study based on the habits of older adults. In the results obtained, it was revealed that sedentary behaviors can increase the risk of suffering from dementia.
In the article, a comparison was made between various activities that involve little physical activity, such as watching television, being on a computer or reading, and those that require more movement and it was found that the former, being passive behaviors, have a great influence on the risk of developing dementia.
The researchers used information from the well-known UK Biobank public health database, from which the profiles of more than 145,000 participants were consulted, who had an average age of 65 years at the beginning of the project and filled out some questionnaires about their sedentary habits.
After ten years, the health of the participants was reassessed and demographic data was analyzed, which determined that there were more than 3,500 positive cases with dementia.
However, according to the professor of biological sciences and study coordinator David Raichlen, what affects and puts people at risk of suffering from dementia is not the time they spend sitting, but the type of sedentary activity carried out during leisure time.
The professor also mentioned that it has been proven that watching television for a long time involves a minimum of muscular activity in the cerebral cortex, unlike being on a PC or reading, which have more benefits due to the intellectual stimulation they cause.
This means that watching television does not help to stimulate the capacities of our brain and by doing it for a long time, it increases the risk of suffering from dementia in the future, while reading or being in front of a computer, although they are not physical activities, do encourage the use of various important brain functions.
On the other hand, in relation to exercise, it helps us take care of the health of our brain and mental health, but it is not a parameter that should be considered decisive in counteracting dementia.
David Raichlen pointed out that everything we do while sitting is important. So this gives us a guideline to determine which leisure activities do not interfere with the appearance of neurodegenerative diseases.