Hard physical work significantly increases the risk of dementia
Men in jobs with hard physical work have a higher risk of developing dementia compared to men doing sedentary work, new research from the University of Copenhagen reveals. The researchers therefore urge the health authorities to make their recommendations concerning physical activity more specific.
The muscles and joints are not the only parts of the body to be worn down by physical work. The brain and heart suffer too. A new study from the University of Copenhagen shows that people doing hard physical work have a 55-per cent higher risk of developing dementia than those doing sedentary work. The figures have been adjusted for lifestyle factors and lifetime, among other things.
The general view has been that physical activity normally reduces the risk of dementia, just as another study from the University of Copenhagen recently showed that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing dementia conditions by half.
Here the form of physical activity is vital, though, says associate professor Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen from the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen.
“Before the study we assumed that hard physical work was associated with a higher risk of dementia. It is something other studies have tried to prove, but ours is the first to connect the two things convincingly,” says Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen, who has headed the study together with the National Research Centre for the Working Environment with help from Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg Hospital.
“For example, the WHO guide to preventing dementia and disease on the whole mentions physical activity as an important factor. But our study suggests that it must be a ‘good’ form of physical activity, which hard physical work is not. Guides from the health authorities should therefore differentiate between physical activity in your spare time and physical activity at work, as there is reason to believe that the two forms of physical activity have opposite effects,” Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen says and explains that even when you take smoking, blood pressure, overweight, alcohol intake and physical activity in one’s spare time into account, hard physical work is associated with an increased occurrence of dementia.
My risk is low. :coolspecs: