- The risk of developing dementia increases if you spend the day sedentary
- Experts say this risk increases the more time you spend in the office or behind the wheel.
- READ MORE: SEVEN-year-old Texas schoolgirl suffers from DEMENTIA
Spending more than 10 hours a day sitting in front of the television or driving increases the risk of dementia, a study suggests.
Researchers have found that the risks of developing this disease increase significantly in adults who spend the majority of their day engaging in sedentary behaviors.
A team from the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona analyzed data from more than 50,000 British adults aged 60 and over.
Those who spent 10 hours a day sedentary were 8 percent more likely to develop dementia. Meanwhile, those who spent 12 hours a day sitting were 63 percent more likely to be diagnosed.
They wore devices on their wrists 24 hours a day for a week. These devices monitored activity levels and could distinguish between sitting and sleeping.
While watching TV or driving are common sedentary behaviors, others may include playing video games, using a computer, sitting while commuting, or sitting at a desk at work.
Participants were followed for approximately six years, during which time 414 people were diagnosed with dementia.
The analysis found that sitting 10 or more hours a day was linked to an increased risk of disease.
Compared to those who spent more than nine hours a day sitting, those who spent 10 hours a day sedentary were 8% more likely to develop dementia.
Meanwhile, those who spent 12 hours a day sitting were 63 percent more likely to be diagnosed, while those who spent 15 hours a day sedentary were three times more likely.
Study author Professor Gene Alexander said: “We were surprised to find that the risk of dementia begins to increase rapidly after 10 hours of sedentary time each day, regardless of how sedentary time has been accumulated.
“This suggests that it is the total time spent sedentary that determines the relationship between sedentary behavior and dementia risk.”
“Significantly lower levels of sedentary behavior, up to about 10 hours, were not associated with increased risk.”
The study, published in the journal Jama Network Open, also found that the way sedentary behaviors accumulate over the course of the day – for example a long period of sitting followed by activity, or sitting interspersed with standing standing – had a similar connection. to dementia.
Professor David Raichlen, who also worked on the study, added: “Many of us are familiar with the common advice to break up long periods of sitting by getting up every 30 minutes or so to stand or walk .
“We found that once you take into account the total time spent sedentary, the length of individual sedentary periods doesn’t really matter.”
What is dementia?
A global concern
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) that impact memory, thinking and behavior.
There are many types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common.
Some people may have a combination of different types of dementia.
Regardless of the type diagnosed, each person will experience dementia in their own way.
Dementia is a global concern, but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live to a very old age.
How many people are affected?
The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are more than 900,000 people with dementia in the UK today. This figure is expected to reach 1.6 million by 2040.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75 percent of people diagnosed.
In the United States, there are an estimated 5.5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease. A similar percentage increase is expected in the coming years.
As a person’s age increases, the risk of developing dementia also increases.
Diagnosis rates are improving, but many people with dementia are thought to still go undiagnosed.
Is there a cure?
There is currently no cure for dementia.
But new medications can slow its progression, and the earlier it is detected, the more effective treatments can be.
Source: Alzheimer Society