Skipping exercise in favor of sitting can worsen brain function, study finds


Skipping out on exercise in favor of less demanding activities — such. As sitting or lying down — was linked to a slight decline in memory and thinking abilitiesAccording to a study published Monday in the journal Epidemiolog. And Community Health, skipping exercise.

In favor of less demanding activities — such as sitting. Or lying down — is associated with a slight decline in memory and thinking ability.

The differences, although small, show how small changes in physical activity levels can. Afect a person’s health, including brain health. Said researcher John Mitchell of the UK’s Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health.

Mitchell and his colleagues used dat. From the 1970 British Cohort Study – an ongoing study that tracks the health of a group. Of people born in the UK in 1970. The study findings were based on data from nearly 4,500 people followed from 2016 to 2018.

Participants provide information about their health, background and lifestyle. They were asked to wear the activity tracker continuously for at least 10 hours a day. For seven days, including while sleeping and showering.

During the study, participants were given a series of tests that assessed. Their ability to process and recall information.

Participants did an average of 51 minutes. Of moderate or vigorous exercise per day; About six hours of light activity. uch as slow walking; and about nine hours of sedentary behavior, such as sitting or lying down. They also got about eight hours of sleep on average.

The study considered moderate to vigorous activity as something that “gets the. Heart pumping” or makes someone “feel warm,” Mitchell noted.

After analyzing the participants’ activity data, the researchers found that those. Who skipped exercise in favor of eight minutes of sedentary behavior experienced 1% to 2% decrease. An their cognitive scores.

Researchers found similar declines in cognitive performance when people replaced vigorous exercise. With six minutes of light physical activity or seven minutes of sleep.

. Replacing sitting or lying down with nine minutes of vigorous exercise.

Abhirup Biswas. Assistant professor of epidemiology and associate scientist at the Institute for Work and Healt. In Toronto, said the brain findings should encourage people to move more.


The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage. An at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. In addition to two days of muscle-strengthening training.

The link between more exercise and improved brain performance is still unclear. But is likely a result of how the body’s cardiovascular system works, Biswas said.

“When you’re active, you’re essentially improving the strength of your hear. And you’re improving your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body. And to one of the most important organs: your,” he said.

Conversely, when people don’t get enough exercise, it can potentially lead. To a number of health problems, including those that affect the, such as dementia. Taid Marc Roig, professor of physica. And occupational therapy at McGill University in Montreal. . Who was also not involved in the new study. .

Exercise intensity is also important, Roig added, noting that studies have shown that people who engaged. In light physical activity instead of more vigorous activity also saw. Adecline in cognitive performance.

Scientists are still trying to determine which exercises. re best for improving people’s overall health and preventing chronic disease, he said.

Mitchell, the study’s author, noted that light activity is still preferable to sitting.

“It seems unquestionable that light activity. MIs better than sitting for many brain aspects of health. BNut the jury is still out on what is a critical ‘threshold’ intensity for optimal health. MIncluding cognitive health,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *