(HealthDay)—Incremental physical activity (PA), even of light intensity, is associated with larger brain volume and healthy brain aging, according to a study published online April 19 in JAMA Network Open.
Using data from the Framingham Heart Study, Nicole L. Spartano, Ph.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional, community-based cohort study of the association of accelerometry-determined PA with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures in a sample of 2,354 participants. The authors sought to examine the association of total steps walked per day and total dose (intensity × duration) of PA with brain volumes on MRI.
The researchers found that each additional hour spent in light-intensity physical activity was equivalent to approximately 1.1 years less brain aging. For individuals not meeting the PA guidelines, each hour of light-intensity PA and walking 7,500 steps or more per day correlated with higher total brain volume, equivalent to about 1.4 to 2.2 years less brain aging.
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