Health: Sedentary lifestyle: better to train your brain – Knowledge

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From the age of 50, physical and cognitive capacities decline in humans. The two phenomena are correlated and inevitable. Researchers from theUniversity of Geneva (UNIGE) wanted to know who had the most influence on whom of the brain or the muscles. They discovered that training your brain was better, first, to prevent regression of physical capacity, than the reverse.

To reach this conclusion, Boris Cheval, from the Interfaculty Center in Affective Sciences at UNIGE, and Matthieu Boisgontier, from the Lives national research center, used the European SHARE database, reports UNIGE on Tuesday. It contains the profiles of more than 100,000 people aged 50 to 90.

12-year follow-up

These people were followed for twelve years. Their physical and cognitive capacities were regularly measured during this period. The Geneva researchers then used this data according to separate models, to determine which physical or cognitive abilities play a predominant role.

Thanks to a statistical index, the duo of scientists found that the model giving primacy to cognitive skills best suited the data of the participants. The study therefore shows that it is mainly cognitive capacities that influence physical activity and not the reverse, underlines the UNIGE.

Against misconceptions

This conclusion goes against what literature has hitherto postulated, continues the Geneva alma mater. “Obviously, this is a virtuous circle,” insists Matthieu Boisgontier, quoted in the UNIGE press release. Physical activity also influences brain skills, “but it does it to a lesser extent.”

The results of the study show that to slow down the general decline in abilities from the age of 50, it is necessary to act first on brain skills. “The brain must make a real effort to get out of a sedentary lifestyle and it is by working on cognitive capacities that physical activity will follow,” notes Boris Cheval. (ats / nxp)

Created: 24.03.2020, 12h09

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