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Sedentary causes changes in the brain

Sedentary causes changes in the brain

March 20, 2023

There are several studies that say that practicing physical exercise produces changes at the brain level. Now, a recent study seems to indicate that a sedentary lifestyle also causes changes in the brain.

Sedentary and health problems

The physical inactivity and the sedentary lifestyle they are the most important risk factors for the development of different diseases. In Western societies, due to the increase in comforts in the home, the increase in technology or the long working hours in increasingly intellectual jobs, has caused many people to wear a sedentary lifestyle which is harmful to health and well-being.

The data published by the WHO warns that at least 60% of the world's population does not perform the physical activity necessary to obtain health benefits . Sedentary lifestyle is the fourth risk factor for mortality in the world, and causes 6% of global deaths. In addition, in Spain there is a 30% of sedentary people.

Sitting more than 6 hours a day causes 30% of cardiovascular diseases, 23% of breast and colon cancer and 27% of diabetes.

The negative effects of sedentary lifestyle

Since the negative consequences of sedentary lifestyle are many, here are some of the most outstanding:

  • Obesity : the metabolism slows down when a person has a sedentary lifestyle, making it easier to gain weight.
  • Weakening of the bones : the lack of physical activity causes bone weakening and causes diseases such as osteoporosis.
  • Fatigue : Low physical condition causes a person to fatigue very quickly. Everyday activities such as walking or climbing stairs pose great physical challenges. In addition, cholesterol increases.
  • Heart problems .
  • Propensity to muscle tears .
  • Decrease in elasticity and joint mobility, decreased ability and ability to react.
  • Slowing of circulation with the consequent sensation of heaviness and edema, and development of venous dilations (varicose veins).
  • Low back pain and injuries of the support system, poor posture, due to the low development of the tone of the respective muscle masses.
  • Tendency to suffer from diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, colon cancer.
  • Discouragement , discomfort, low self-esteem, decreased concentration

Brain changes caused by sedentary lifestyle

During the last decades, researchers have studied the psychological benefits of practicing exercise, and have concluded that exercise can improve our cognitive functions . Regardless of age or physical condition, spending time for exercise also produces changes in the brain and many benefits for our mental well-being.

But a recent study states that not only does physical exercise cause changes in the brain, but sedentary lifestyle also produces brain changes: in this case, for bad. A lifestyle characterized by physical inactivity can change the structure of neurons, adversely affecting an individual.

Studies with rats

The study, carried out by the School of Medicine of Wayne State University, was conducted with sedentary rats and normal rats. A dozen rats were used that separated into two groups. One group was forced to remain inactive while the other made use of wheels to run at will.

After 3 months, sedentary rats presented additional ramifications in neurons that are found in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, a portion of the brainstem that is responsible for controlling breathing and other non-conscious core activities of the body. The neurons in this area of ​​the brain are involved in heart disease and hypertension, since control blood pressure through the alteration in the constriction of the blood vessels.

WHY Exercise is so Underrated (Brain Power & Movement Link) (March 2023).

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