Long Life and Health
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Mental Health

A Sedentary Lifestyle Could Raise Your Risk of Dementia

After a hard day’s work, most people like to relax. Taking it easy is often considered a privilege in a world constantly demanding our attention. While breaks are not a problem to your health, researchers have discovered that a sedentary lifestyle, or sitting down for more than ten hours a day, can increase your risk of getting dementia.

Even sitting down while at work can count as part of those ten hours a day. A difference of one hour can make quite a difference, too. People who sit ten hours a day have an eight percent more likely chance than those who sit for nine hours a day. When you sit for 12 hours a day, your risk of developing dementia increases by as much as 63%.

Researchers also discovered that sitting for less than 10 hours a day did not increase the dementia risk. Once the 10 hours a day mark is reached, the risk level starts to rapidly increase.

Most senior adults between 65 and 74 typically sit for about 11 hours a day. The average American sits for 9.5 hours a day – just below the threshold of 10 hours. The research revealed that it does not matter whether you are sitting for 10 hours straight or for a total of 10 or more hours with breaks throughout the day.

Dementia is not considered to be a natural part of aging – since only about two out of 100 seniors develop the disease. The low numbers do not mean you should not take steps to eliminate your risk of dementia – since you never know.

Being sedentary can involve several common things that people do every day. It means burning low levels of energy. It can include time spent at a desk while working, watching TV, driving, or being on the computer.

Dementia is not the only problem that those living a sedentary lifestyle may experience. The dangers increase because a sedentary life will also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and mental health issues. Unfortunately, each one of these diseases is known to increase your risk of developing dementia. If the brain is damaged somehow, it can also increase your risk of dementia.

Another related issue that will also raise your risk of dementia is a condition called metabolic syndrome. People with extra fat around the middle and having high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure have a 12% higher risk of dementia. The risk increases with each of these additional symptoms.

Some people groups are known to have a higher risk of developing dementia than others. Older African-Americans have nearly twice the risk of older whites, and older Latinos have a risk level about one-and-a-half times as high as older whites.

It is unknown if a sedentary lifestyle is a direct cause of dementia or if it is merely a major contributing factor. What is known is that there is a definite correlation between the two.

Since having a sedentary lifestyle and a large waist increases your risk of dementia, there is a solution for both problems. Becoming more active can help solve both issues. The activity needs to include a regular exercise program, along with a Mediterranean diet – to help ensure weight reduction. Do not wait until you start seeing early signs of dementia.

Experts recommend getting 150 minutes per week of exercise, or about 30 minutes for five days each week for good health. They should involve a mix of aerobic exercises and some strength training about twice a week. Combining regular exercise with a good diet will reduce your risk of dementia and add longevity to your life. Remember that there are no cures yet for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


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