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Exp Gerontol. 2018 Jul 15;108:174-180. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.04.017. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Mild cognitive impairment and sedentary behavior: A multinational study.

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KU Leuven, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Leuven, Belgium; KU Leuven, University Psychiatric Center KU Leuven, Kortenberg, Belgium. Electronic address:
Physiotherapy Department, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, UK; Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, UK; Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK.
Department of Psychiatry, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Madrid, Spain.
Old Age Psychiatry, University Psychiatric Centre, KU Leuven, Belgium.
KU Leuven, University Psychiatric Center KU Leuven, Kortenberg, Belgium.
The Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
NICM, School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Australia; Division of Psychology and Mental Health, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, UK.
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Madrid, Spain; Research and Development Unit, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Universitat de Barcelona, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Dr. Antoni Pujadas, Barcelona, Spain.



Sedentary behavior (SB) is associated with poor cognitive performance. However, the contribution of sedentary time to risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) remains unclear. This study assessed the association of SB with MCI in six low- and middle-income countries.


The Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) survey included 34,129 adults aged ≥50 years [mean (SD) age 62.1 (15.6) years; 51.7% females]. SB was self-reported and expressed as a categorical variable [<8 or ≥8 h per day (high SB)]. The definition of MCI was based on the recommendations of the National Institute on Ageing-Alzheimer's Association. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association between SB and MCI.


The overall prevalence (95%CI) of MCI and high SB (i.e., ≥8 h/day) were 15.3% (14.4%-16.3%) and 10.1% (9.0%-11.3%), respectively. After adjustment for potential confounders, being sedentary for ≥8 h/day was associated with a 1.56 (95%CI = 1.27-1.91) times higher odds for MCI. A one-hour increase in SB was associated with a 1.08 (95%CI = 1.05-1.11) times higher odds for MCI.


Our study results highlight the need to further explore a sedentary lifestyle as a potential risk factor for MCI or subsequent dementia. Longitudinal and intervention studies are warranted to confirm/refute the current findings.


Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment; Sedentary; Sitting

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