In a recent study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, researchers found that people doing hard physical work have a 55% higher risk of developing dementia than those doing sedentary work.
The study is from the University of Copenhagen. One author Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen.
The general view is that physical activity normally reduces the risk of dementia, just as other studies recently showed that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing dementia conditions by half.
But the form of physical activity is vital. This study suggests that it must be a ‘good’ form of physical activity, which hard physical work is not.
The study shows that the muscles and joints are not the only parts of the body to be worn down by physical work. The brain and heart suffer too.
The finding is based on data from the Copenhagen Male Study (CMS), which included 4,721 Danish men, who back in the 1970s reported data on the type of work they did on a daily basis.
Through the years, the researchers have compiled health data on these men, including data on the development of dementia conditions.
Previous studies have found that hard physical work may have a negative effect on the heart blood circulation and thus also on the blood supply to the brain.
This may for example lead to the development of high blood pressure, blood clots in the heart, heart cramps and heart failure.
In the study, the team found people doing hard physical work have a 55% higher risk of developing dementia than those doing sedentary work.
Even when they took smoking, blood pressure, overweight, alcohol intake and physical activity in one’s spare time into account, hard physical work was linked to an increased occurrence of dementia.
The team hopes the dementia study will contribute to shining a spotlight on the importance of prevention, as changes in the brain begin long before the person leaves the labor market.
In addition, guides from the health authorities should therefore differentiate between physical activity in people’s spare time and physical activity at work, as there is reason to believe that the two forms of physical activity have opposite effects.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about this mental problem may double risk of dementia and findings of this common diabetes drug may help reduce cognitive decline, dementia risk.
For more information about dementia and your health, please see recent studies about what you need to know about Lewy body dementia and results showing that these personality traits may help you prevent dementia.
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