A new study published in the journal Lancet Neurology conducted by the Cambridge University Institute of Public Health has revealed that as little as one hours exercise each week can reduce the chances of contracting Alzheimer’s disease by up to a third.
The research that was carried out looked at seven risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease; diabetes, high blood pressure obesity, physical inactivity, depression, smoking and a low educational attainment. It found that 1 in 3 cases of Alzheimer’s can be avoided and are linked to lifestyle choices. A lack of exercise accounted for the largest proportion of new cases of the disease in the UK, Europe and the US whilst smoking, a poor diet, lack of education and depression were all found to be contributing factors.
Current guidelines recommend that all adults should do at least 30-minutes of exercise five times a week; however, studies suggest that only 29% of female and 39% of males achieve this target.
It was found that as little as three 20-minute sessions of exercise a week can significantly reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s developing and those who do not partake in this level of activity are 82% more likely to go on to develop the disease in later life.
Dr Mike Loosemore, Lead Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the ISEH and Lead Sports Physician for the South of England at the English Institute for Sport commented that the research again underlines the power of even small levels of activity in achieving significant health gains. He said " it is easy to be discouraged by thinking only major physical effort can make a difference, but that is simply not the case. Something as simple as standing up 3 hours day 5 days a week will burn the same number of calories in a year as running 10 marathons! So almost everyone can benefit from the cumulative effect of minor movements".