Too Much TV, Loneliness Linked to Worse Cognition
Researchers are uncovering novel and intriguing risk factors for declining cognition — from high levels of physical inactivity and television viewing among young adults to loneliness in older people. One new study showed that sustained low physical activity beginning in early adulthood was associated with almost double the likelihood of having worse cognitive function, particularly processing speed and executive function, later in life. The same study showed that sustained high levels of TV viewing are also linked to worse midlife cognitive function.
@sandy The analysis was part of the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adult) study, which enrolled 3375 participants 18 to 30 years of age who had at least three follow-up visits over 25 years. After this time, participants were assessed by using three cognitive tests: the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), the Stroop test, and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). Researchers assessed physical activity through questionnaires. They defined low physical activity as activity below the bottom quartile of baseline levels (<300 kcal/50-minute session three times per week). About 17% of participants had a long-term pattern of low physical activity.