Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It interferes with daily life through declines in thought processes, such as learning deficit and memory loss. Although cross-sectional studies have consistently found a link between physical exercise and cognitive performance, a cause-and-effect relationship has yet to be established.
In this study, the researchers found that running on a treadmill can reverse those cognitive declines that are due to Alzheimer’s disease, regardless of how severe those effects may be. Specifically, the mice in this study that had early or later stages of Alzheimer’s disease showed signs of improved cognitive performance (i.e., short- and long-term memory) after following a prescribed 12-week treadmill running program.
There have been thousands of studies on how regular exercise affects cardiovascular health, but this study shows the importance of researching exercise’s impact on brain health as well.
About this Alzheimer’s disease research
Source: Annie Spencer – American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Image Credit: The image is credited to U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt Araceli Alarcon and is in the public domain Original Research: Full open access research for “Mortality Benefits for Replacing Sitting Time with Different Physical Activities” by MATTHEWS, CHARLES E.; MOORE, STEVEN C.; SAMPSON, JOSHUA; BLAIR, AARON; XIAO, QIAN; KEADLE, SARAH KOZEY; HOLLENBECK, ALBERT; and PARK, YIKYUNG in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Published online September 2015 doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000621
Mortality Benefits for Replacing Sitting Time with Different Physical Activities
Purpose: Prolonged sitting has emerged as a risk factor for early mortality, but the extent of benefit realized by replacing sitting time with exercise or activities of everyday living (i.e., nonexercise activities) is not known.
Methods: We prospectively followed 154,614 older adults (59–82 yr) in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study who reported no major chronic diseases at baseline and reported detailed information about sitting time, exercise, and nonexercise activities. Proportional hazard models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (HR (95% confidence interval)) for mortality. An isotemporal modeling approach was used to estimate associations for replacing sitting time with specific types of physical activity, with separate models fit for less active and more active participants to account for nonlinear associations.
Results: During 6.8 yr (SD, 1.0) of follow-up, 12,201 deaths occurred. Greater sitting time (≥12 vs < 5 h·d−1) was associated with increased risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. In less active adults (<2 h·d−1 total activity), replacing 1 h·d−1 of sitting with an equal amount of activity was associated with lower all-cause mortality for both exercise (HR, 0.58 (0.54–0.63)) and nonexercise activities (HR, 0.70 (0.66–0.74)), including household chores, lawn and garden work, and daily walking. Among more active participants (2+ h·d−1 total activity), replacement of sitting time with purposeful exercise was associated with lower mortality (HR, 0.91 (0.88–0.94)) but not with nonexercise activity (HR, 1.00 (0.98–1.02)). Similar results were noted for cardiovascular mortality.
Conclusions: Physical activity intervention strategies for older adults often focus on aerobic exercise, but our findings suggest that reducing sitting time and engaging in a variety of activities is also important, particularly for inactive adults.
“Mortality Benefits for Replacing Sitting Time with Different Physical Activities” by MATTHEWS, CHARLES E.; MOORE, STEVEN C.; SAMPSON, JOSHUA; BLAIR, AARON; XIAO, QIAN; KEADLE, SARAH KOZEY; HOLLENBECK, ALBERT; and PARK, YIKYUNG in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Published online September 2015 doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000621