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Compared with more sedentary individuals, the people who expended the most energy over the two weeks had 90% lower odds of developing cognitive decline over the five- to seven-year follow-up period—a "really strong" reduction in risk, says the lead researcher, Laura E. Middleton, Ph.D., an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario.

What's more, the participants' lab-tested energy expenditure was more closely linked with cognitive health than their subjective accounts of how much exercise they typically get, which suggests that everyday activity, and not just exercise, may help maintain brain health.

"It's not only that type of purposeful physical activity that's important; it's also the less intense work...stuff like just standing up more often and walking more often," Middleton says.

"It's bad news for those of us, including myself, who sit at a desk all day," she adds. "It means that we really need to find some way to get up and move."

Source: Time.com Healthland
July 19, 2011
By Karen Pallarito, photo by Getty Images

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