Prolonged periods of sitting in middle age is tied to brain atrophy, new research shows.
Sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of cognitive decline and merely exercising even at high intensitiy, does not offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods.
The atrophy associated with cognitive decline are thought to begin in the medial temporal lobe. The hippocampal formation and its surrounding structures, specifically, are essential for memory function.
So the finding that sitting reduces the thickness of these important structures is relevant because it suggests that reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target to improve brain health in middle-aged and older adults.
These findings show a ‘brain effect’ of sitting on a critical memory centre of the brain.
At home and work, take a 5-minute break to stand up and walk around every 30 to 60 minutes.