Prolonged sitting can diminish part of your brain responsible for storing memories, according to a new study.
A study published in the Public Library of Science, an open-access scientific journal earlier this week has discovered a link between sitting too much each day with the thinning of brain and impact on memory among middle-aged and older adults.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that spending all day in your desk chair caused to change a thinning of the medial temporal lobe, a brain structure that is a key to learning and memory.
Brain thinning is commonly known to cause risk of conditions that affect many older adults, like dementia and cognitive decline.
Previous research has shown a link between too much sitting with an increased risk of heart disease, premature death, and diabetes in middle-age and older adults.
For the new study, the researchers recruited 35 participants between the ages of 45 and 75. The participants were asked to answer about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours each day they have spent sitting throughout the previous week.
The researchers then scanned the participants’ brains using a high-resolution MRI scan. As a result, they found a strong association of sitting for extended periods of time with thinning of the medial temporal lobe.
“Sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the medial temporal lobe and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods,” the researchers said.