New studies suggest that being sedentary is bad for seniors’ memory, just as activity is beneficial.
Past studies linked physical activity with less cognitive decline in seniors. Recently, researchers used accelerometers to monitor the activity of 88 “healthy, but ‘low-fit’” participants aged 60–78.
Imaging showed their brain’s structural integrity and white matter lesions—areas of dead cells common in seniors—which possibly cause brain dysfunction.
The more physically active a senior was, the fewer white matter lesions developed. However, those who spent more time sedentary, even if they were occasionally active, had lower structural integrity in the white matter of the hippocampus (important for memory and learning). Experts say this means that being sedentary is detrimental to the brain, even if you engage in light exercise.
Medical News Today, “Sedentary Behavior ‘May Counteract Brain Benefits of Exercise in Older Adults.’”