Prolonged computer usage for work is common among many individuals, and watching TV is considered an essential form of entertainment in the lives of some. The latest research in JAMA shows that adults over 60 years old who sit for more than 10 hours a day will have a rapid increase in the risk of dementia.
Taipei, Taiwan (WS News Publisher) – A considerable number of individuals spend extended hours in front of computers due to their work, often for prolonged periods. Some people like to live a couch potato life and consider watching TV important entertainment. We may have to adjust our habits from now on. The latest research published in JAMA Network Open shows that if adults over 60 years old sit for more than 10 hours a day, the risk of dementia will increase by 8%. Sitting for more than 15 hours triples the risk of dementia.
There have been many studies in the past examining the impact of sedentary on the risk of dementia. This study was conducted by the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona and included 50,000 adults over the age of 60. The test lasted for one week, and the wearable device was used to monitor their activity level 24 hours a day, detecting the time they spent watching TV, using computers, playing video games, and other static activities, as well as the length of time they slept. Interviews will be conducted for another 6 years to explore the difference in risk of dementia within 7 years.
Dementia is a variety of symptoms caused by abnormal changes in the brain, which mainly affect our memory, thinking, emotional processing, and daily behavioral abilities. Approximately 60% to 80% of dementia cases are Alzheimer’s disease, and the second largest is vascular dementia. Parkinson’s disease, which is often heard by everyone, is also one of them.
Scientists believe that being sedentary affects the risk of dementia mainly because social and physical activities are reduced due to sitting for long periods. The stimulation received by the brain and the blood flow to the brain is reduced, increasing the chance of dementia, cerebrovascular disease, and various chronic diseases. Research from UCLA in the United States also found that people who sit for longer periods will have thinning of the temporal lobe of the brain, decreased cognitive function, and an increased risk of dementia.
The main purpose of this large-scale trial, which included participants who had no symptoms of dementia before the experiment, was to explore whether “total sitting time” per day affects the chance of developing dementia in the future. The study found that when the total sitting time per day exceeds 10 hours, the risk of dementia increases by 8%. The longer the time, the higher the risk of dementia increases. Participants who sat for 12 hours had a 63% higher risk of developing dementia within 7 years than those who sat for less than 9.25 hours. Those who sat for 15 hours had a staggering 220% higher risk.
Analysis by the research team over six years found that 414 out of more than 50,000 subjects were diagnosed with dementia. Further analysis of the daily activity status of these patients measured during the initial experiment data revealed the above risks. This experiment can confirm that there is a significant non-linear relationship between sitting time and dementia, especially in the elderly. Gene Alexander, a professor at the University of Arizona, believes that 10 hours is the upper limit of daily static activities. Avoiding exceeding this time may reduce the risk of dementia.
How scary is dementia? According to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, about 1 in 3 elderly people in the United States will suffer from dementia before death, which has caused 6.6 million deaths, and the process from illness to death is quite painful. Therefore, if the risk of dementia can be reduced by getting up and moving more often, it will be beneficial without any harm. Columbia University research found that getting up and walking for 5 minutes every half hour can effectively adjust blood sugar and blood pressure, eliminate fatigue, replenish energy, and improve mental state.
Sedentary not only increases the risk of dementia but also increases the risk of death. Research from The University of Sydney shows that people who sit for 8 to 11 hours a day have a 15% higher risk of death than those who sit for less than 4 hours. People who sit for more than 11 hours have a 40% higher risk of death, and sitting for an extra hour a day will reduce life expectancy by 22 minutes on average. In addition, the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer is increased by sitting for too long, so you must change your habits.
Now start to develop the habit of sitting less and standing more. Try to get up and do things that you can do while standing, such as thinking and reading. Studies have found that standing can stimulate the prefrontal lobe of the brain and improve memory and concentration. Stand for 2 minutes every half hour, get up and walk for 5 minutes every hour to make a cup of coffee, stretch your muscles, and do some work that requires movement to avoid sitting still for long periods. You should also pay attention to whether the time spent watching TV or surfing the Internet is too long, and shorten the static time appropriately. Arrange more time for outdoor activities and sports, and increase dynamic activities, which can not only maintain health but also stimulate the brain.