Physically demanding jobs linked to higher cognitive impairment risk

  • People who have a consistently high amount of physical exercise are more likely to suffer from moderate cognitive decline, according to the latest study.
  • The researchers behind the study are calling for the creation of cognitively safe strategies for individuals working in this work.
  • Employers who require moderate levels of physical exercise have a higher chance of developing mild cognitive impairment. This could result in dementia.

If your job requires the use of a lot of physical exercise and you are a runner, you could be more at chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as the mild cognitive impairment (MCI), suggests an upcoming study that was that was published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe.

A person with an elevated level of physical activity at work carries a 15.5 percent chance of developing dementia, as compared to a 9 percent risk of those working with a low amount of physical activity, according to the study.

The study also revealed that those who work at an intermediate level of physical activity are at a higher risk of having a mild cognitive impairment however, they are not at risk of dementia in general.

The study is a review of data from the fourth 2017-2019 season part of the HUNT4 70+ Study, which is one of the most comprehensive collections of dementia information. The study covered 7,005 residents in Trondelag in Norway between the ages of 33 and 65. Of the participants in the study, 49.8 percent were female.

They define the term occupational as “[p]erforming physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.”

They assessed physical activity in the workplace on the scale of 1 to 5, where one represents the lowest amount of exercise, while five representing the highest.

The most frequent occupations for participants in studies who were exposed to physical exercise in their jobs included retail, nursing, and care, as well as farming.

A life-course perspective on dementia risk

The study’s author Dr. Vegard Skirbekk, told Medical News Today that the objective for the research was know the risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as related dementias in the course of the course of one’s life.

“Understanding the [Alzheimer’s disease] and related dementias] risk factors from an overall perspective is crucial for the general public as well as health professionals. The causes of dementia that occur late in life might be discovered earlier in the life span,” said Dr. Skirbekk.

Dr. Roseanne Freak-Poli who is a epidemiologist and senior researcher in Monash University in Australia, who was not part of the research she endorsed the study’s life-course model and said it offers “more comprehensive understanding of how occupational histories affect cognitive health.”

The way she sees it said, “we know that the physical activity intensity of our jobs is likely to decrease as we get older, so looking across the life course provides a better understanding than measurement at just one time point.”

The brain fitness Coach Ryan Glatt, director of the FitBrain Program at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and not part of the study said that he was the most fascinated by the findings of the study concerning the link between moderate occupational physical activity and MCI.

For reasons as to why those with a middle-level occupation tend to develop MCI, Dr. Skirbekk said: “We believe that it is to a large extent a matter of degree; the greater the physical strains, the higher the risks later in life.”

“Whether that is MCI or dementia, I don’t think this article is sensitive enough to determine,” said Glatt. “This is a massive study. It’s a kind of signal.”

Co-factors could be at play

The researchers looked at the effects of education, income, and marital status, as well as health and lifestyle factors in their study.

“I think what this really might be signaling is a relationship between what kinds of people and which sociodemographic statuses are working these types of jobs,” Glatt said to us.

The authors themselves note the following: “the association between occupational [physical activity] and late-life cognitive impairment could be confounded by differences in socioeconomic status.”

Additionally, we Glatt was also asked by Glatt: “Is it possible that physically demanding jobs such as construction work might be more stressful? Yeah, absolutely. Are there any chances of being exposed to certain toxic substances in particular jobs that require physical exertion maybe?”

Do people who work employed in jobs that require physical exertion reduce their risk of developing dementia?

“I don’t think I could just go up to someone and say, ‘Hey, I think you should find a desk job because this job is going to give you dementia,'” Glatt said. Glatt.

What can an individual with physically demanding work do to ensure their cognitive health?

Dr. Skirbekk stated, “we believe that having autonomy and is able to take breaks, in addition to having control over the demands of one’s body and responsibilities, it reduces the risk .”

In the meantime Dr. Skirbekk added that following the usual advice regarding risk factors for dementia makes sense. Source:Trusted The source: “Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol intake, social isolation, [prevent or treat] high [blood pressure], diabetes, depression, [avoid] physical inactivity, use hearing aids in case of hearing impairment, and reduce exposure to air pollution.”

Glatt advised that one is exercising regularly on days off, even if the job they work for requires physical effort. He suggested fitness training, aerobic exercise, and neural motor exercises.

He also said that sleep is essential to the health of your brain: “A lot of people have theorized and have researched that when individuals are more physically and cognitively active, it increases the hunger and the drive for sleep.”

This is in addition to the fact that the study forms part of the larger discussions we should have. “Occupational risks are really interesting, environmental exposures are interesting, job stresses are interesting: the relationship between what’s good about a job, and what’s bad about a job.”

He also called for “more occupational research on what kinds of jobs contribute to longevity, as well as health outcomes.”

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