19
Apr
2018

Sitting is bad for your brain — not just your metabolism or heart


Thinning in brain regions important for memory linked to sedentary habits

Date:

April 12, 2018

Source:

University of California – Los Angeles

Summary:

Studies
show that too much sitting, like smoking, increases the risk of heart disease,
diabetes and premature death. Researchers found sedentary behavior is linked to
thinning in regions of the brain that are critical to memory formation.

 

Sitting too much is
linked to changes in a section of the brain that is critical for memory,
according to a preliminary study by UCLA researchers of middle-aged and older
adults

 

Studies show that too
much sitting, like smoking, increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and
premature death. Researchers at UCLA wanted to see how sedentary behavior
influences brain health, especially regions of the brain that are critical to
memory formation.

UCLA researchers
recruited 35 people ages 45 to 75 and asked about their physical activity
levels and the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the
previous week. Each person had a high-resolution MRI scan, which provides a
detailed look at the medial temporal lobe, or MTL, a brain region involved in
the formation of new memories.

The researchers found
that sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL and
that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful
effects of sitting for extended periods.

This study does not prove
that too much sitting causes thinner brain structures, but instead that more
hours spent sitting are associated with thinner regions, researchers said. In
addition, the researchers focused on the hours spent sitting, but did not ask
participants if they took breaks during this time.

The researchers next hope
to follow a group of people for a longer duration to determine if sitting
causes the thinning and what role gender, race, and weight might play in brain
health related to sitting.

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, researchers
said.

 

 

Materials provided by University of California – Los
Angeles
. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

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Chicago

University
of California – Los Angeles. “Sitting is bad for your brain — not just
your metabolism or heart: Thinning in brain regions important for memory linked
to sedentary habits.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2018.
<www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412141014.htm>.

University
of California – Los Angeles. (2018, April 12). Sitting is bad for your brain —
not just your metabolism or heart: Thinning in brain regions important for
memory linked to sedentary habits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19,
2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412141014.htm

University
of California – Los Angeles. “Sitting is bad for your brain — not just
your metabolism or heart: Thinning in brain regions important for memory linked
to sedentary habits.” ScienceDaily.
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412141014.htm (accessed April 19,
2018).

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