Sitting is not always bad for older adults: It’s generally accepted health advice that adults should sit less, move more, and engage in regular exercise to reduce risk of chronic diseases. However, when it comes to the brain and cognition, a new study suggests that some sedentariness isn’t all bad

However, most participants in the study did not spend a significant amount of time in physical activity; in fact, data showed that, on average, most participants spent less than 2.7% of their time engaged in moderate-to-vigorous activities.

So this sample didn’t really include anyone who’s meeting recommended levels of activity? Then how can it be used to conclude that those recommendations aren’t always good?

Those older adults who instead sat more hours each day performed better on knowledge-based activities, like vocabulary tests or reading comprehension. These “crystallized” abilities tend to strengthen with age as adults acquire more knowledge and experience.

This seems to be the heart of the claim in the headline. Couldn’t this be explained by people sitting more because they’re reading? When I’m older I would like to have crystallized knowledge, but it’s far from the only thing I want.

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