Sitting Too Much May Harm Your Brain – Even If You're Healthy! Stand Up & Read This! by Mei Marcie
Sit a lot for work – or just because? There has been increasing research on how a sedentary lifestyle, and specifically sitting for long hours, is bad for your heart and linked to increased risk of certain diseases such as diabetes. In a recent study by the University of California, Los Angeles, it was found that sitting for long hours was linked to the thinning of the medial temporal lobe. The medial temporal lobe is used for memory and declines with age, and is linked to conditions such as dementia.
For the study, 25 women and 10 men ages 45 to 75 years old (without dementia) recorded their physical activity levels and the time spent sitting each day for a week. Through a MRI scan of their brains, it was noted that the medial temporal lobe was thinner for those who spent more time sitting, even though they were physically active while not sitting.
While the study could not indicate causation and was limited in that there could be differences between mentally active and inactive sitting (i.e. whether the brain is engaged in tasks), it is possible that without enough movement, blood flow in the brain is reduced, which may affect the growth of nerve cells and brain function.