Despite the fact that most of the tasks that require brainpower are accomplished while sitting, sedentary behavior can risk one’s mental health.
Whether you are working 9 to 5 or taking hours’ long classes in the university, chances are that you have been sitting a lot, and that is taking a toll on your cognitive abilities. A recent research indicates that prolonged sitting can impact the human brain negatively by affecting the energy supplied to the brain.
Your Cognitive Function Depends on Glucose Levels
Your brain typically comprises of 2% of your body mass. But it requires 20% of your stored energy while you rest, or sit in a chair.
As most of the stored energy in the human body is in the form of glucose, disruption in its supply to the brain cells can end up affecting your overall health.
Notably, both high and low glucose levels present a risk factor for dementia. Moreover, glucose variability i.e. fluctuations in your body’s glucose level has also been linked with lower cognitive function.
This finding indicates that avoiding circumstances that may result in glucose variability and keeping a check over your glucose levels is crucial for your brain’s healthy functioning. In fact, we should make it a habit to take s brisk walk more often than you think.
What Is Wrong with Prolonged Sitting?
Another research claims that sedentary behavior can increase the odds of an early death. Experts recommend 60-75 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise every day, instead of sitting for more than eight hours a day.
Experts recommend exercising twice as much as what is considered as the current minimum recommended amount of exercise for adults.
Moreover, several studies have shown that you can reduce the amount of time between your sitting spans, substituting them with light-intensity walking, to help control your glucose level after you have taken your meal.
It means taking a little walk can help prevent your glucose levels from spiking too high or dipping too low. Your working muscle can consume some of the glucose in your system, thus keeping it within the optimal range.
In fact, evidence suggests that a light intensity physical activity spread out over the day proves to be better for glucose control, as compared to a single spell of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning. The former is still better even if the energy expenditure that results from walking throughout the day is the same as that of morning exercise.
Therefore, hitting the gym may not be doing you much good if you sit for five or eight hours straight in a day. It is incumbent that you reduce your sitting time across the day and let your brain have improved cognition.
Via: World Economic Forum