With the increasing prevalence of sedentary or screen-based activities, such as watching television, these trends are of concern for upcoming generations of young people.

The researchers from the University of California in San Francisco, examined the association between a 25-year pattern of television viewing and physical activity and midlife cognition.

"In this biracial cohort followed for 25 years, we found that low levels of physical activity and high levels of television viewing during young to mid-adulthood were associated with worse cognitive performance in midlife," researchers added.

The study of 3,247 adults from ages 18 to 30 used a questionnaire to assess television viewing and physical activity during repeated visits over 25 years.

"In particular, these behaviours were associated with slower processing speed and worse executive function but not with verbal memory. Individuals with both low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour may represent a critical target group," the researchers concluded.

The article was published online by the JAMA Psychiatry.


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