Researchers added that thin medial temporal lobes could be considered as a precursor to cognitive decline.
The potentially negative effect of sitting on a person's memory adds to previous research that has associated sedentary behavior to a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and a greater chance of premature death, according to Live Science.
The conclusions of this preliminary study are that, although a sedentary lifestyle has an effect on the brain that can lead to Alzheimer's disease, physical activity was also associated with a smaller decrease in medial temporal lobe thickness.
The research study consisted of 35 individuals in between the ages of 45 and 75.
It might be time to ditch the desk chair: A brand-new research study links sitting excessive every day with memory issues in middle-age and older grownups. The participants were asked to answer about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours each day they have spent sitting throughout the previous week. The brains of the subjects were scanned via high-resolution MRI to assess the thickness of their medial temporal lobes - the part of the brain crucial to the creation and storage of memories. They also saw the same results among patients who were physically active - meaning that the damage done by sitting for extended periods of time could not be offset by exercise.
The researchers noted that as the hours of sitting or being sedentary rose, there was a significant thinning in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. In one study, people who sat in front of a TV for more than four hours a day had nearly a 50 percent increased risk of death.
The participants reported that they spent from 3 to 7 hours, on average, sitting per day. Reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target for strategies created to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease, researchers said.
In addition, thefindings are initial, and although the studyfocused on hours invested sitting, it did not take into account whether individuals took breaks throughout long stretches of inactive habits.
Going forward, the researchers said they plan to survey people that sit for longer periods of time each day, in order to determine if sitting causes the observed thinning.
In the future, researchers are aiming to find out whether sitting actually causes brain thinning and what role gender, race and weight might play in brain health in relation to sitting.