More than 55 million individuals worldwide are afflicted by dementia, which is also the sixth largest cause of death worldwide.
The number of dementia cases is rising along with the percentage of older persons in the population. There is growing evidence that regular exercise is one of the best methods to lower the risk of dementia development in addition to being good for overall health. Good news for individuals who find it difficult to integrate exercise into their daily schedule.
A recent study found that walking 4,000 steps a day may cut the incidence of dementia by 25%. A person’s risk of dementia could be reduced by half by increasing their daily step total to slightly under 10,000.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 139 million people will have dementia by the year 2050, up from an estimated 55 million individuals today. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is estimated to impact 5.8 million individuals in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Alzheimer’s Society claims that ageing and heredity are the main causes of dementia. The prevalence of dementia is increasing globally as the population ages. It also claims that ageing and heredity are the main causes of dementia. The likelihood of developing dementia may increase if a person has a close family who has the disease and is beyond the age of 75. Sex, (which puts women at greater risk than men), and ethnicity are additional risk variables that we are unable to change.
Data from the UK Biobank were utilised in the study. The mean age of the 78,430 participants, 44.7% of whom were men and 55.3% of whom were women, was 61.1 years. When they signed up for the trial, every participant was healthy and had neither dementia nor cardiovascular disease. After a median of 6.9 years, subjects were checked on by researchers (6.4–7.5 years). Participants were required to wear an accelerometer on their dominant wrist for the duration of the study in order to track their physical activity. The researchers then utilised an algorithm to calculate the number of steps using the accelerometer data. When examining the data, the researchers took into account factors like age, sex, race, socioeconomic position, smoking, general health, and diet.
The amount of steps taken and the intensity of those steps were both linked to a lower risk of dementia, the researchers discovered. Participants needed to walk about 9,800 steps each day to have the biggest benefit—a 50% reduction in dementia risk. Beyond this point, no additional advantage was noticed. For people who are unable to walk this many steps every day, the good news is that even only 3,826 steps per day can cut dementia risk by 25%.
This study contributes to the growing body of research showing that being active as you age can promote longevity and sustain physical and mental health.
Physical fitness reduced the incidence of dementia by up to 33%, according to another large-scale study including over 650,000 service veterans. This study indicated that even a little exercise can lower the risk of developing dementia. According to a review of 11 research by the Alzheimer’s Society, regular exercise had the biggest effect on dementia risk, followed by not smoking, consuming alcohol in moderation, having a healthy body weight, and following a balanced diet. Regular exercise decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 45%.