Prolonged Sitting Tied to Brain Atrophy
I recently came across an interesting article that I wanted to share with you all. Basically, the article states that after a small preliminary study, they found that prolonged sitting leads to medial temporal lobe atrophy AND that physical activity does not discount the amount of sitting.
Deep underneath the medial temporal lobe of the brain sits the hippocampus, this is where we form declarative memories. The structures around the hippocampus (parahippocampal structures) within the medial temporal lobe are thought relay information to the hippocampus for memory storage. Therefore, if this part of the brain is undergoing atrophy due to prolonged sitting, this may indicate why dementia (decline in memory) is more prevalent as we age since generally we become less active as we age.
Even more interesting is that if you are highly physically active for a few hours in the morning or at night but sit all day long, you can still undergo this brain atrophy. The study was small, and only included 35 participants, which excluded anyone with depression, anxiety, or age younger than 45. Overall they found that the thickness of the medial temporal lobe was decreased in those with prolonged sitting independent of physical activity. While more research needs to be done for conclusive answers, this is a very interesting article that encourages people to be less sedentary throughout the day to save your memory later on down the road. How do we do that?
It's simple, really. The doctors who wrote the article suggest that if you have a desk job or sit for prolonged periods throughout the day to get up and walk around for about 5-10 minutes every hour or so.
Read the article here.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician or a health care practitioner. This site is not meant to provide medical or health advice of any kind. Do not misconstrue any information that you read here as medical recommendation, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided here on this site is intended to serve as a communication of my experiences and to share articles and public material pertaining to health that I come across. It should in no way be interpreted as medical advice of any kind.