Every year, there are 10 million new cases of dementia diagnosed across the globe, but one simple lifestyle tweak may help radically lower that statistic: get off the couch, leave your house, live an active lifestyle!
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people 60 and older who live a sedentary lifestyle, are much more at risk of developing some form of dementia.
The study evaluated the lifestyles of nearly 50,000 individuals who had no diagnosis of dementia and were aged 60 and older. The study took place over eight years in England, Scotland, and Wales in the United Kingdom.
Scientists found that those who lived sedentary, or low activity, lifestyles for 12 hours a day are 63% more likely to develop dementia.
Those who live an inactive life for 15 hours a day – just three hours more – are an astounding 220% more likely to develop dementia.
That’s a massive spike. If that can’t motivate you to get much more active, what will?
The researchers explained in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Among older adults, more time spent in sedentary behaviors was significantly associated with higher incidence of all-cause dementia.”
More research must be conducted to verifiably prove that sedentary lifestyle choices can be directly linked to the development of dementia.
Even within this 50,000-person study group, researchers express that there were so few people who were just sitting around for 15 hours per day that those extreme numbers may not be wholly accurate.
In the meantime, it can’t hurt to get out of bed, get off the couch, shut the TV off and go outside for a nice relaxing stroll or jog of the neighborhood, go dancing with a loved one or take a spin on a bicycle. This study truly gives definition to the expression: move it or lose it.