Too much television-watching in young adulthood could lead to cognitive problems in mid-life, suggested a new study. People who reported watching more than three hours of television per day as young adults were twice as likely to suffer from poor cognition down the road, compared to those who were more active and reported less screen time. For the study, researchers tracked more than 3,000 people for 25 years.
The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry.
‘Low levels of physical activity and lots of television-watching were linked to slower processing speed and worse executive function. Verbal memory, however, was not affected by the amount of television time.’
Scientists assessed cognitive function in the 25th year using three tests of mental processing speed, executive function and verbal memory.
The study found low levels of physical activity and lots of television-watching were linked to slower processing speed and worse executive function.
The study said, "Participants with the least active patterns of behavior (i.e., both low physical activity and high television viewing time) were the most likely to have poor cognitive function."
Verbal memory, however, did not appear to be affected by the amount of television time.
The study was led by Tina Hoang of the Northern California Institute for Research and Education at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco; and Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco.