by Chrissy Sexton
“A growing collection of studies has linked sedentary behavior to chronic health issues and accelerated signs of aging, such as cognitive decline. But a new study from Colorado State University shows that not all sedentary behavior is bad for the brain, especially when it is balanced by the right amount of physical activity.
“The research, led by Professor Aga Burzynska in the CSU Department of Human Development and Family Studies, was designed to examine the association between physical activity and cognitive performance. The study was focused on 228 healthy older adults between the ages of 60 and 80.
“As expected, participants who engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous activity had better speed, memory, and reasoning skills. On the other hand, the data also showed that adults who engaged in more sedentary behavior performed better on vocabulary and reading tasks.
“The findings may come as a relief to people who have sedentary jobs or spend a significant amount of time sitting. Professor Burzynska said that while the association between increased physical activity and improved cardiovascular and metabolic health is well documented, the link between different intensities of daily physical activity and cognitive health is less understood, particularly in older adults.”
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