Even those who exercise regularly are at higher risk of dementia if they're sitting all day. * Sitting for at least 12 hours a day raises dementia risk by a staggering 63%.
In an age where work-from-home setups and binge-watching are the norms, a recent study warns of an insidious danger lurking in our sedentary lifestyles—increased risk of dementia. Published in JAMA, the study reveals that sitting for prolonged periods can put even the health-conscious among us at risk. In a time where our attention is fixated on global health crises and aging populations, the silent, everyday behavior of sitting demands our scrutiny.
The study, led by scientists at the University of Southern California, examined nearly 50,000 men and women aged 60 or older. Using sophisticated activity trackers and Artificial Intelligence, the researchers found that those sitting for 10 hours a day had an 8% higher risk of developing dementia within seven years. That risk surged to 63% for those sitting for at least 12 hours daily[Washington Post]. In a world constantly fighting visible threats like pandemics and climate change, the hazard posed by something as commonplace as sitting adds another layer to our understanding of health and wellbeing.
THE LIMITATIONS OF EXERCISE
Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t offer a protective shield against the risks posed by sitting. “It looks like you can’t exercise your way out of the risk,” said David Raichlen, who led the study. Even those who had regular workout routines but spent 10 or more hours seated were as prone to developing dementia as their less-active counterparts[Washington Post]. This discovery should compel us to reconsider our routines, integrating more movement into our daily lives for holistic wellness.
From a Chassidic viewpoint, maintaining physical health is not just a means for survival but an act of divine service. The study’s findings can be viewed as an invitation to embrace a lifestyle that aligns with our spiritual mission, contributing to the ultimate redemption (geula) and the coming of Moshiach. By making conscious choices to move more and sit less, we fulfill the mitzvah of guarding our health and minds, better equipping ourselves to bring about a world of everlasting peace and divine knowledge.
In summary, the dangers of excessive sitting, even for those who engage in regular physical activity, should not be underestimated. It's an urgent call to reevaluate our lifestyles, bearing in mind that every choice we make has far-reaching implications for our health and spiritual journey. While modern problems often seem complex and insurmountable, the study offers a silver lining: the negative effects of sitting can be undone.