A new study showed that watching TV in just three hours a day with little to no physical activity can rot the brain.
The data was based on a analysis of three tests answered by the participants involved in the study. Researchers Hoang and Dr. Kristine Yaffe, professors at the University Of California School Of Medicine found that these volunteers are all inclined to watching a lot of TV.
Many people practice watching too much TV and oftentimes fail to do any physical activity. Doing both things for a long span of time leads to the impairment of the brain, as researchers found in their study performed at the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.
Initially, the researchers did not include the cognitive function of the participants for them to have a baseline for comparison of the progress. And on the 25th year of the study, they assessed the cognitive function of the participants with three different mental tests that focus on speed, verbal memory and executive function.
There were 107 volunteers involved in the study who exercised least and at the same time had the habit of watching TV for more than three hours a day. Results show that these people are twice as much likely to perform poorly on the cognitive tests,; given as compared to those who limit their TV use but exercised more.
The researchers said that it is still never too late for adults to change their habits that could lead them to illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia that usually start with impaired brain and damaged brain cells. Other studies have categorized these diseases due to old age, but there are ways where people can avoid it.
Result show that TV addicts were found to be 64 percent more likely to have poor cognitive performance than others. Same results were obtained when the researchers accounted for several other factors such as age, gender, educational level and body mass index (BMI).
They took note of some possible limitations due to the way the data were gathered because answers were only self-reported by the participants through the questionnaires.
Adolescents who practice little exercise but watch TV frequently had the worst obvious cognitive function 25 years later in their life. In this part of the study, the participants were surveyed at the beginning of the study and every two to five years about their exercise routine, or if they do exercise at all.
Those who watch little TV with high physical activity routine had twice as better cognitive performance than those who did little exercise with too much TV during their midlife.
But the researchers found no link to the verbal memory of the participants with regards to TV use.