Leading a sedentary life increases the risk of developing dementia

A study conducted in Spain found that there is a relationship between a sedentary lifestyle and a high risk of developing a problem related to poor memory

Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior is one of the main risk factors for dementia, to the point of increasing the risk by up to 30%.

According to doctors Carmen Terrón, coordinator of the Hospital’s Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Unit. Our Lady of the Rosary, and María S. Manzano Palomo, neurologist at the Infanta Leonor Hospital in Madrid.

Leading a sedentary life increases the risk of developing dementia

The experts have pointed out that the 12 modifiable risk factors for dementia currently established would be responsible for 40% of dementia cases or, in other words, “if a dementia prevention plan were put in place, it could be avoided or delayed. 40% of the cases”.

“This makes physical activity a protective factor against the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as against cerebrovascular pathology, in addition to having a positive effect on health and quality of life” the neurologists assured.

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In addition, they add that a sedentary lifestyle favors the development of other risk factors for dementia, such as obesity and altered lipid and glycemic metabolism, not to mention its relationship with a decrease in cognitive function throughout life and a increased risk of dementia of any aetiology.

Thus, doctors Terrón and Manzano advise avoiding physical inactivity as much as possible, so they limit sedentary time to less than 2 hours a day; get up and move after 30 minutes of uninterrupted sitting; increase the daily time of light physical activity to 2 hours each day.

“The prevention of dementia is a real possibility and a duty for the medical community. And more so considering that, at the same time, this disease generates great social concern, but there is great ignorance about many of its fundamental aspects”, they have assured.

In short, neurologists are in favor of implementing dementia prevention strategies in a multimodal way, with fundamental changes in life habits.

“In this way we will be able to improve its effectiveness and try to achieve the goal of increasing healthy life expectancy and reducing the years lived with disability (11 years on average in high-income countries), bearing in mind that dementia is one of the leading causes of disability in the elderly. In particular, it is urgent to implement global health promotion and social action plans aimed at the most vulnerable population”, they concluded.

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