Taking more steps a day may lower your risk of dementia

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Walking about 7 kilometers a day can lower your risk of developing the condition by up to 50%.

Dementia is a condition closely related to aging, which reaches more than 55 million people worldwide, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). However, new scientific evidence has shown that, in addition to benefiting health in general, physical exercise it is one of the most efficient ways to reduce the risk of developing this condition.

A study recently published in the journal JAMA Neurology suggests that the simple fact that increasing the number of steps a person takes per day can lower the risk of dementia by up to 50%. To arrive at the discovery, the analysis used data from the UK Biobank, in the United Kingdom, and had 78,430 participants – 44.7% men and 55.3% women, who had an average age of 61 years.

When these people signed up for the research, none of them had cardiovascular disease or dementia and they were followed for about 7 years. During this period, participants wore a device on their wrist 24/7 to measure their levels of body mobility.

To complement the study, the researchers used an algorithm to calculate the step count from the device data. Importantly, the scientists also took into account the control for some variables among the participants, such as gender, age, race, economic status, smoking and general health.

Thus, the study found that both the intensity and accumulation of more steps per day were associated with steady declines in the risk of dementia incidence.

Know more: 9 early signs of dementia

In order to achieve a 50% reduction in the chances of developing the condition, participants had to walk approximately 9,800 steps a day (something close to 7 kilometers). In addition, according to research, those who walk around 3,800 steps a day can see their risk of developing dementia drop by 25%.

Regarding the intensity of movements, the study pointed out that a greater reduction in the risk of dementia was achieved by those who walk at a faster pace, equivalent to 112 steps per minute for 30 minutes a day.

In view of the findings, it is important to emphasize that, although there are limitations in observational studies such as this one, they can point to hypotheses that guide more in-depth and controlled studies. But overall, the research bolsters the evidence that exercise is beneficial for preventing dementia.

What causes dementia?

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, the biggest risk factors that contribute to dementia are aging and genetics. This condition becomes most common among people with an average age of 75 years and also among those who have a close relative who has already been diagnosed with it.

Read too: Understand what types of dementia can affect the elderly

Although aging is the biggest cause of dementia, evidence shows that some lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing this condition, such as increasing the frequency of physical exercise, having a healthy diet, in addition to keeping active and with the brain stimulated by reasoning activities.

Other expert recommendations include the sleep carea reducing or suppressing the habit of drinking alcohol and investment in socialization – as loneliness was associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. Many of these actions, even if started later in life, can be effective for this purpose and also for promoting a better quality of life.

Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.

The translator user relied on the following source:

Minha Vida Website – REF99827

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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