AGE 25: GETTING LITTLE EXERCISE + WATCHING LOTS OF TV MAY = POOR THINKING ABILITY IN 50's.
"USA Today (12/3, Painter) reported that a study published online Dec. 2 in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that “young adults who watch a lot of TV and engage in very little exercise” may encounter problems with thinking in middle age. There may be a bright side in that screen time with challenging video games or with reading a book (not measured in the study) may not have the same effect as TV viewing! But why take the chance? Why not increase physical activity if you don't wish to decrease time spent sitting and watching TV?
It is concerning that only 3+ hours of TV viewing was considered HIGH! Combining my early morning and later evening viewing could easily classify me in that range. The study did not measure on-screen time with computers at work and mobile devices when sitting (the time frame was 1985-2011). That is one of the difficulties encountered with longitudinal research, that which extends over many years of a person's life-course. The circumstances/environment is likely to change in our fast-paced world, and life elements that may not exist when the study is designed and started are not measured or considered.
Many are distrustful of scientific research results; they seem to be reversed or refuted after some time. But it might be WORTH TRYING TO INCREASE the amount of TIME or the INTENSITY in which we are active throughout our lives, as the tendency has been that technology and modern living increasingly force, encourage, or entice us to be less and less active at all life stages, even in the normally more active years before adulthood.
Another study to be published in Pediatrics in January 2016, discussed in the LA Times, showed that teens are active only about 39 minutes/day although 60 minutes are recommended. You may not be excited about using EarnedRuns bibs, but perhaps you can find other ways to encourage yourself to be routinely active (and involve your family in routine activity if that is your life stage and circumstance).
The USA Today story is interesting and informative. The full scientific article is very briefly summarized below if you want to know more of the details.
The study was conducted from early 1985, through mid-2011 in 4 US cities, Birmingham, AL; Chicago, Minneapolis; and Oakland, CA. It used questionnaires to assess long-term patterns of physical activity and television viewing time in 3247 participants, who were originally enrolled in the larger Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Each had at least 3 assessments of physical activity and 3 of television viewing time, and a cognitive assessment at year 25.
The questionnaire looked at participation in VIGOROUS-INTENSITY (running/jogging; racquet sports; bicycling; swimming; exercise/dance class; job lifting, carrying, or digging; shoveling or lifting during leisure; and strenuous sports) and MODERATE-INTENSITY activities (walking/hiking, golfing, bowling), and home exercises, maintenance, or gardening in the past 12 months and the average number of hours/day spent watching television in the previous 12months. HIGH television viewing time was identified as >3 hours/day for more than two-thirds of the visits. The participants were placed into activity CATEGORIES based a combination of an activity score and TV viewing time: MOST active, INTERMEDIATE active, and LEAST active. At the end of the study, 25 years later, cognitive assessment tests were administered by trained experts.
Investigators found that LOW LEVELS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY combined with HIGH LEVELS OF TELEVISION VIEWING time during young to mid-adulthood were associated with WORSE cognitive (thinking) performance in midlife.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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