The scientists from Boston University in the US have found that sedentary lifestyle not just leads to excess weight: lack of physical activity can reduce the size of the human brain.
Men and women, who do not pay enough attention to physical activity after the age of 40 years, have a smaller volume of gray matter in the brain on reaching the age of 60 than their peers, who are fond of sports. The study has also proved that some fans of sedentary lifestyle also perform worse with the memory test. The authors argue that striving for physical fitness in middle age contributes to maintaining youthful brain.
According to study author Nicole Spartan, many people are not worried about the health of the brain until the retirement age, but this research shows that certain lifestyle in middle age has a very beneficial effect on the aging processes in the brain. The scientists have made these conclusions by observing the relationship between physical condition and health of the brain in more than 1,200 adults over the past two decades.
At the beginning of the study, men and women with an average age of 41 passed through the standard test on a treadmill to assess their level of fitness. During this test, the scientists recorded the changes in blood pressure and heart rate of the volunteers. By the age of 60, all the participants of the study had gone through brain scans and memory tests. It turned out that the people, who demonstrated the least impressive performance on the treadmill at the age of 41 years, had less gray matter by the age of 60.