Too much TV, low physical activity may worsen cognitive function
Watching too much TV – defined in the study as at least four hours daily – between the ages of 18 and 30 may lead to poorer cognitive function in mid-life.
Study co-author Tina Hoang, of the Northern California Institute of Research and Education (NCIRE) in San Francisco, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Washington, DC.
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state that adults aged 18-64 should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, only around one in five adults meet these recommendations.
It is well established that lack of physical activity and sedentary behavior can have negative implications for health, such as overweight and obesity, greater risk of type 2 diabetes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Increasingly, research has suggested such behavior may also adversely affect brain function.
Previous studies have shown physical activity in later life may protect against cognitive decline and dementia. However, Hoang and colleagues note that little is known about the role physical activity in early adulthood plays in later-life brain function.
“Understanding this relationship in early adulthood may be particularly important because global data suggests that levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are increasing,” says Hoang.
Physical activity in early, mid-adulthood important for healthy cognitive ageing
The team’s study included more than 3,200 adults aged 18-30 who were part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.
Over 25 years, the researchers recorded participants’ television viewing time and physical activity levels via a minimum of three assessments.
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