Sedentary Behavior Could Make Our Brains Thinner, Says Latest Study

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We know that sitting too much will definitely not make us thinner, but it seems that this depends on which part of the body we’re referring to. A recent study published in PLOS ONE reports that sedentary behavior is terrible for our brain.

During the study, a team of specialists from UCLA and the University of Adelaide have studied 35 adults without any signs of dementia. There were 25 women and 10 men involved with ages between 45 and 75.

Here’s what the study revealed

Each participant received the International Physical Activity Questionnaire in order to determine how many hours they spend sitting and just how much physical activity they get every day.

Each participant also underwent a high-resolution MRI scan of the brain. The results of the study showed that the more hours every subject spent sitting, the thinner the medial temporal lobes of the brain were.

Each hour of sitting was correlated to a 2% thinning of the medial temporal lobe. In other words, a person who sits 10 hours a day will have a medial temporal lobe that’s 6% thinner compared to a person who sits 4 hours a day. On the other hand, increased physical activity will not lead to thicker media temporal lobes.

Reasons for the thining of the medial temporal lobe 

Our medial temporal lobe tends to get thinner as we age and more loss of the lobes is usually seen in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Losing a part of our brain leads to severe memory damage.

When we’re sitting, blood does not circulate as much in our bodies; therefore it does not reach the brain enough. This way, our brains don’t receive enough oxygen, and the waste compounds are not efficiently cleared out.

We’re not burning enough calories which leads to weight issues, and these alter a lot of mechanisms in our bodies.

Sitting is also affecting our bodies’ metabolic system and hormones as well, and the brain is not receiving enough nutrients.  More studies have to be made in order to figure out what exactly in happening but one thing is for sure. Too much sitting and sedentarism, in general, is bad for the brain’s health and the whole body.

Rada Mateescu

I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.