Too Much TV, Too Little Exercise harm Brain in Mid-Life

There are countless studies suggesting couch potato lifestyle isn’t good for health. Now, a new study, which followed thousands of young adults for years, revealed that too much television-watching, too little exercise lead to cognitive problems in mid-life.

The study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry included more than 3,000 individuals. Study researchers examined the participants when they were approximately 25 years old. The study was ended when the individuals took cognitive tests about 25 years later.

Tina Hoang, a researcher from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco and co-author on the study, said, “There are so many more opportunities for sitting now that it's even more of a concern, than when the study started, in the 1980s”.

The study led by Kristine Yaffe of the University of California showed that participants who watched a lot of television and didn’t take part in physical activities have disappointing scores in some of the cognitive tests. Those who watched television for over three hours a day, but reported little activity scored well below average in some thinking tests.

Psychologist Arthur Kramer from the University of Illinois said there are a number of researches have already proved that physical activities can improve thinking skills of kids and older adults. Now, the new study has provided proofs that young adults can also avail the benefits of physical activities, Kramer added.

Kramer and some other researchers have suggested that physical activities can improve brain cell connections.