Can Too Much TV Lead to Dementia?

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerSeptember 9, 2015

A recent study suggests that sedentary lifestyles at a young age may lead to a decrease in cognitive ability in middle age. Learn more about this study and why researchers are hoping it encourages some to change their lifestyles and be more active.

Can Too Much TV Lead to Dementia?

A recent study from the Northern California Institute for Research and Education in San Francisco suggests that too much television may not only damage your brain, but also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Researchers tracked a group of people for 25 years and found that of that group, those who reported low physical activity and watched at least four hours of television a day, were nearly twice as likely to have poor cognitive ability in middle age.

However, it is not clear if the television viewing or the lack of physical activity or a combination of both is responsible for the decrease in cognitive function. 

The Impact of Lifestyle Choices on Brain Health

This study is the latest study to show the impact that our everyday lifestyle choices can have on our brain health as we age. Researcher Tina Hoang said of the study:

“Sedentary behaviors, like TV viewing, could be especially relevant for future generations of adults due to the growing use of screen-based technologies. Because research indicates that Alzheimer’s and other dementias develop over several decades, increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior beginning in early adulthood may have a significant public health impact.”

Researcher Kristin Yaffe agrees that this study could have implications for today’s youth, but added that the study could actually bring renewed hope, proof that people can impact their  brain health later in life by the decisions made now.

“This is something you can do something about,” Yaffe says.

How does this study impact your daily television viewing habits? Are you inspired to get moving? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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