Scientists in their new study have raised alarm for those who are spending a lot of time in sedentary activities, suggesting that they are more prone to the risk of developing dementia.
The research — published in the journal JAMA — took into account that people who are over 60 and spend much of their time — over 10 hours — sitting watching television or driving etc. may be fueling the risk of this disease.
For the study, experts analysed information with the help of an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm from 50,000 adults aged 60. These individuals did not have dementia when the study started.
With the help of AI systems, scientists were able to determine sedentary activities.
After a follow-up of an average of six years, scientists found that — by looking at the medical records — 414 participants had the neurological condition.
After making different adjustments, they discovered that sedentary behaviour was associated with an increased risk of dementia.
However, they also noted that certain amounts of sedentary behaviour were not linked with dementia.
The study author Gene Alexander from the University of Arizona said: “We were surprised to find that the risk of dementia begins to rapidly increase after 10 hours spent sedentary each day, regardless of how the sedentary time was accumulated.”
Dr Alexander added: “This suggests that it is the total time spent sedentary that drove the relationship between sedentary behaviour and dementia risk, but importantly lower levels of sedentary behaviour, up to around 10 hours, were not associated with increased risk.”
For further understanding of the link and prevention, experts have called for more research on the topic to ascertain whether physical activity would be helpful in mitigating the risk of the disease.
The findings, according to scientists, “should provide some reassurance to those of us with office jobs that involve prolonged periods of sitting, as long as we limit our total daily time spent sedentary.”