More bad news for lying supine on the sofa and watching television: doing a lot of it as a young adult is linked with worse cognitive function later in life, according to new research.
Specifically, young adults who were physically inactive, as measured by duration and intensity of exercise, and watched three or more hours of TV each day had slower cognitive processing and poorer executive functioning 25 years down the road.
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All manner of research has been done on the dangers of TV viewing, from looking at how it affects children's brain development to how it raises the risk of type 2 diabetes. While other recent research has connected too much TV and increased risk for Alzheimer's, relatively few studies have looked at its long-term cognitive effects.
"Participants with the least active patterns of behavior - i.e., both low physical activity and high television viewing time - were the most likely to have poor cognitive function," note the researchers.
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In an era of superlative television programming - and whole seasons being made available at once, enabling marathon viewing sessions - these findings are a good reminder to limit TV time.
Your future self, and her whip smart brain, will thank you.