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Too Much Sitting Might Be Bad For Your Memory, New Study Cautions

17 April 2018

Brain thinning can be a precursor to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-age and older adults, the researchers added. It is also known that atrophy of the brain's medial temporal lobe (MTL) occurs with aging, resulting in impaired episodic memory.

The researchers recommend that "reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target for interventions created to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease".

Researchers studied people between the ages of 35 and 45.

Researchers found that sedentary behavior is linked to the thinning of the medial temporal lobe, regardless of a person's levels of physical activity. In addition to physical health risks, a new study has stated that too much sitting can negatively affect your brain, particularly the region associated with memory.

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They answered questions about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the previous week.

The researchers then scanned the participants' brains using a high-resolution MRI scan. In one study, people who sat in front of a TV for more than four hours a day had nearly a 50 percent increased risk of death.

Dr. Doug Brown, chief policy and research officer at Alzheimer's Society, added a statement that brain injuries were a "much smaller" contributory factor than smoking or a sedentary lifestyle - "risk factors that are much easier for all of us to do something about". They plan to survey people who sit for longer periods of time daily, in order to establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

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.

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Health experts have earlier suggested people with long hours of office job, should take breaks in between.

In the researchers conclusion, they said that sedentary behaviour (movements while sitting, or lying down) can have an effect on your cognitive memory however, they could not be entirely sure that sitting is the main lead to bad memory.

The next stage of the research will be to follow volunteers for longer than a week to see if the results are consistent and if gender, race or weight comes into play.

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Too Much Sitting Might Be Bad For Your Memory, New Study Cautions