People watching TV for prolonged periods of time and low physical activity are at risk of suffering from worse cognitive function later in life, according to a study.
The current study led by Tina D. Hoang suggested that engaging in physical activity is important for brain health as compared to sitting and watching TV.
Researchers from Northern California Institute for Research and Education, San Francisco looked at how rates of physical activity in early adulthood can impact on mental abilities in later years. Thus the investigators recruited more than 3,000 adults to discover a link between sedentary lifestyle and cognitive function. The participants were from five different US cities aged 18 to 30 years.
The study subjects completed questionnaires regarding the amount of TV they watched and the amount of amount of exercise they carried out. Data was collected every 2-5 years, between, 1985-2011.
The study found that those who moved around less physically and spent more time in front of the TV were associated with slower processing speed and worse execution function, but not with verbal vocabulary memory.
“We found that low levels of physical activity and high levels of television viewing during to mid-adulthood were associated with worse cognitive performance in midlife,” said Dr. Tina, one of the study authors. “Participants with the least active patterns of behavior were the most likely to have poor cognitive function,” she added.
The authors revealed a number of limitations of the study including the data on physical activity and TV viewing was collected via questionnaires, and the cognitive tests did not measure all of the potential domains of cognitive functioning.
Couch potato lifestyle, watching a lot of TV and low physical activity, has negative impact on one’s health. Thus medical experts advice sit less and move more to avoid decline in cognitive function in mid-life. IMAGE/Getty Images