The “Sitting Age”
The automobile, the computer and the TV have brought about the “sitting age.” Your day may start like this.
- You get up in the morning and sit down for breakfast in front of your computer while you glance at the headlines.
- You get in your car and drive to work. Depending on where you live and how far you are from your workplace, you may spend an hour or more in your car in morning traffic jams, breathing in polluted air. If you are a smoker you will get even more stinking air.
- You arrive at your office, grab a cup of coffee and sit down in front of your computer. You may work from 9-12 hours with a break for lunch and a few small coffee breaks. Before you know it, you will be driving home again in rush hour traffic. You drive in to your bank to take out money from the machine without leaving your car.
- You arrive home, sit down for a microwaved supper and then relax in front of the TV for a couple of hours.
- So far you have barely walked, run or done any physical exercise. You may have gained weight and if it keeps up you will become another statistic in the rising numbers of obesity.
Not enough Exercise can Lead to Physical Diseases, Early Death and Dementia
There are millions like you and according to all the scientific research you may die early from a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer or dementia. That’s right. It could be Alzheimer’s! The latest research shows that sitting too much is bad for the brain. A study published Jan. 9, 2018, headed by Prabha Siddarth of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California at Los Angeles, has shown that not getting enough physical exercise can put you on the road to memory loss and dementia.
Physical Exercise Resulted in Better Brain Health
The UCLA study was made up of 29 non-demented seniors ages 60-89, with memory complaints. Special ankle meters were attached to the participants of the study to measure how much they walked every day. Depending on how much they walked every day, they were divided up into two groups. Then the researchers carried out MRI scans on the brains of the two groups. One group was of people who walked and got enough physical exercise daily and the other group was of people with a more sedentary lifestyle.
The UCLA researchers discovered that the more sedentary group had thinner medial temporal lobes (MTL), which can lead to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-aged people and in seniors. The medial temporal lobes are the part of the brain connected with memory. Those who walked at least 4200 steps a day had normal medial temporal lobes. Reviews from other research showed that better physical health requires walking more than 8000 steps a day, and for seniors with chronic health problems the recommended number of steps to walk a day is 4500.
Physical Exercise Resulted in Better Physical Health
Another study published July 27, 2016, from the University of Cambridge headed by Professor Ulf Ekelund was based on data on more than a million men and women from 16 studies. Results showed that a lot of sedentary time without any real exercise resulted in several diseases and an increased rate of death from all causes. Whereas, those that engaged in moderate physical activity about 60-75 minutes a day did not have increased results for death from all causes.
No Remedy for Damage to Health from Sitting and Watching TV
However, the physical activity did not lower the risk of early death from sitting a long time in front of the television.
Get up and Get Going
So get up from sitting too much, stretch and walk around a bit. Take lots of breaks. Try to go for a walk for at least an hour or more every day or divide it into two half hour walks. Try to find something better to do in your evenings after work than sitting for hours in front of the television.
Hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease Found in Infants in Air-Polluted Mexico City
Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise worldwide with so far no cure. It causes the buildup of plaques of destructive beta amyloid protein in the brain, which leads to memory loss, personality changes, psychiatric behavior problems and eventually death. Research shows that it begins much earlier than when the symptoms set in and by the time there are symptoms there has already been damage to the brain. In fact, a recent study headed by Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas from the University of Montana on air-polluted Mexico City found beginning Alzheimer’s in the brain stems of infants and young children.
Everyone including seniors must be encouraged to get more physical exercise. It does not have to be strenuous, but they should try to do more walking, even if it is with a cane or walker.