We know that sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition and exercise can improve cognition.
This research is interesting because it added a component to the exercise (Wheeler MJ, et.al., 2019).
The participants were sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function. Cognitive testing were done and brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed.
The study consisted of 3 different protocols which the participants completed with 6 days in between.
One time they were sitting uninterrupted for 8 hours which was the control condition. Another time they were sitting for 1 hour, then they did moderate-intensity walking for 30 minutes and uninterrupted sitting for 6.5 hours. The third protocol were sitting for 1 hour, then moderate-intensity walking for 30 min, and sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 minutes of light-intensity walking for 6.5 hours.
The results showed that moderate-intensity walking for 30 min, and sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 minutes of light-intensity walking improved blood levels of BDNF and working memory or executive function.
This means that we need to be active throughout the day. Just set reminders to take short breaks and do an activity that increases your pulse rate.
It does not mean that you have to get out and walk for 3 minutes. There are other things you can do for just a couple of minutes or less without going outside, so you have a very minimal interruption.
Wheeler MJ1,2, Green DJ3, Ellis KA4, Cerin E5,6, Heinonen I3,7, Naylor LH3, Larsen R2, Wennberg P8, Boraxbekk CJ9,10, Lewis J, Eikelis N2,11, Lautenschlager NT12, Kingwell BA13, Lambert G11, Owen N14,15, Dunstan DW, Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: a three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition.Br J Sports Med. 2019 Apr 29. pii: bjsports-2018-100168.
Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.
The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.