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Sedentariet

Sedentary Lifestyle: It is known that an excessively sedentary lifestyle is strongly detrimental to the health and well-being of our bodies. Spending too many hours a day sitting in a chair behind a desk (as in the case of office or study work) or, even worse, spending entire days on the couch watching TV (perhaps accompanied by unhealthy snacks) Are habits that strongly and negatively affect our health. Among the most prevalent risks are definitely problems related to the health of our heart, which is more prone to dangerous diseases in overly “armchair-loving” individuals. But the list is long, and in addition to the aforementioned cardiovascular problems, it also includes diabetes and the possibility of premature death more generally.

As if that were not enough, according to a recent study, an overly sedentary lifestyle would also have negative effects on our brains, particularly on the section that handles memory.

The study

According to a study conducted by researchers at theUniversity of California, Los Angeles, involving about 35 people between the ages of 45 and 75, a sedentary lifestyle would lead to significant changes in the area of the brain that is critical for memory. All research participants first underwent a cognitive test to find out their daily habits and routines, with specific questions about their (possible) physical activity and the average number of hours spent sitting during the day. The questions were more concerned with the period including the week before the test.

After the test, all participants underwent a high-resolution MRI to get a clear look at the medial temporal lobe, the portion of the brain that is actively involved in the formation of new memories. From the examinations, it could be seen that a very sedentary lifestyle leads to thinning of the medial temporal section of the brain. Such a situation can lead to the decline of an individual’s cognitive abilities and the onset of dementia as the years progress.

How to remedy

The study also brought out that physical activity alone is not enough to improve this condition and protect our brain health. Therefore, it is necessary to change one’s habits and lifestyle. One should avoid spending too many consecutive hours of the day sitting in a chair, but it would be advisable, from time to time during the course of the day, to take short walks, even of a few dozen minutes (just think that to make up for an entire day spent in a chair one needs to take at least an hour of walking). Those most at risk are those who perform office work, but again, you should take advantage of any time of day when you have a few minutes off to do small physical exercises to stretch your arms and legs. It is also helpful to attend events that promote a healthy lifestyle to learn useful tips on how to move without disrupting one’s usual routine.

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