(Cover) – EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Having a desk job or a lazy lifestyle could be ruining your brain.

Sedentary occupations and lifestyles have already been connected to a number of health concerns, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, spending too much time on your butt might also be harming your intellect, as new evidence has connected long periods of sitting down to thinness in the brain’s medial temporal lobe (MTL), a region that’s very important when it comes to forming memories.

A decline in this area is also thought to be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged and elderly patients.

Researchers at the University of California quizzed a group of volunteers between the ages of 45 and 75 about their exercise regime, and also performed a high-resolution MRI scan on the brains of each individual.

The scans showed that those who lived less active lifestyles generally had a thinner MTL, and though lead author Dr Prabha Siddarth insisted that her team’s findings didn’t “prove” a link between the two, he emphasised the importance of such an association.

“Reducing sedentary behaviour may be a possible target for interventions designed to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

The study was published in journal PLOS ONE, and Dr Siddarth’s team now plan to conduct additional research on a larger trial group, paying particular attention to the effects when there are variations in race, weight and gender.

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