/ Modified sep 14, 2023 10:10 p.m.

Study shows that long periods of sitting can lead to dementia

Sitting over 10 hours a day can lead to an increase in cases of dementia.

typing keyboard Typing on a computer keyboard.

Researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of Southern California found that adults 60 years of age and older are more likely to get dementia if they spend an average of 10 hours sitting each day.

Sedentary activities include but are not limited to driving, watching T.V., and computer usage. The average American sits for nine and a half hours a day, according to the study's authors.

The study also revealed that different sedentary activities accumulated over a period of the day don’t matter as much as the total time spent sitting down.

“This suggests that it is the total time spent sedentary that drove the relationship between sedentary behavior and dementia risk. But, importantly, lower levels of sedentary behavior, up to around 10 hours, were not associated with increased risk,” said study co-author Dr. Gene Alexander.

The university researchers used data from UK BioBank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource that enables new scientific discoveries to improve public health.

The UK Biobank tested about 50,000 adults over the age of 60 to measure their physical activity with a wrist-worn device. The device separated all types of sedentary behaviors into different sections, like sitting and sleeping.

After six years of the study, the researchers followed up with hospital records and death registry data to determine if there was any dementia diagnosis in the test subjects. Out of the 50,000 adults, 414 of them had cases of dementia.

Future research is needed to determine if the association between dementia and sitting is casual. The study was also part of a bigger initiative to understand how sedentary behaviors affect different parts of the brain.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona